Edwards’ Twelve Signs – the Second

In Jonathan Edwards’ Religious Affections he offered “Twelve Distinguishing Signs of Truly Gracious and Holy Affections.” Edwards believed God’s transforming work starts in the affections, where motives operate. People follow their desires, and God can move heart desires. As he does this the world sees his grace at work. Edward’s second Sign traced this connection: “The first …

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Edwards’ Twelve Signs – the First

In Jonathan Edwards’ Religious Affections we find his list of “Twelve Distinguishing Signs” of God’s authentic work in transforming souls. Every Edwards biography will supply context for this work—as in George Marsden’s, Jonathan Edwards: A Life, chapter 17. Our aim here is simply to review Edwards’ call to an affective and effective Christian spirituality.  This post takes up …

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A notice

Recently I received a notice from Amazon, the owners of WordPress (my Spreading Goodness platform). They plan to drop “Feedburner” – the subscription system many use to receive my blogs – and haven’t offered a replacement. Shucks! And I don’t have my own replacement, or a website engineer who knows how to chase options for …

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A bride for Jesus

Richard Sibbes’ portrayal of faith was trinitarian and Christ-centered. An English Puritan (1577-1635), he shared a deep concern about a question still alive today. How do we engage God? Do we matter to him? And if so, what does he want from us?  Sibbes’ answer was biblical and personal. God the Father wants a bride …

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Finding Grace

In Gentle and Lowly Dane Ortlund wrote, “He [Jesus] sends his grace to us, personally, individually, eternally. Indeed, he sends himself—there’s no such ‘thing’ as grace …” (p.211).  Yes, Jesus shares God’s grace with us by the Spirit, so divine grace is his expansive love. And while we may recognize many special acts of divine grace, together …

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God’s Expansive Love – 6 of 7

We continue in our reflections on Affective Theology by turning to God’s expansive love. God’s triune self-giving was his ground for both creation and salvation—and why the seventeenth century Puritan Richard Sibbes spoke of God’s “spreading goodness.” God’s expansive aims are evident throughout the Bible. At our creation humans were told, “Be fruitful and multiply …

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