Author: Matthew V. Everhard
Publisher: JESociety Press
The quest for joy is as universal as it is elusive. Happiness is that which all human beings desire; yet only few ever discover it in deeply personal and lasting experiences. Among the theologians and philosophers who sought to apprehend a personal experience of joy, the great colonial thinker Jonathan Edwards (1703–1758) stands out as a brilliant voice from the past, speaking boldly on what constitutes the true nature of joy, as well as identifying the sad and deceiving counterfeits to real happiness.
In A Theology of Joy: Jonathan Edwards and Eternal Happiness in the Holy Trinity, Reformed pastor and Edwards scholar Matthew Everhard studies the primary works of the puritan sage, combing through his many sermons, manuscripts, and major treatises to uncover and systematize the primary concepts, images, and motifs related to joy. This book works through such important pieces as Edwards’ Religious Affections, The End for Which God Created the World, and Miscellanies; as well as some of Edwards lesser-known writings such as his “Treatise on Grace” and his “Essay on the Trinity.” These literature studies identify important strands of Edwards’ public teaching and private musings on the concept of happiness.
As the book progresses, Everhard begins to group together Edwards’ thoughts on joy and happiness into several major categories; especially as they relate to the doctrine of the Trinity, salvation, the holy life, and the believer’s final estate in Heaven. Concluding the study, Everhard makes several practical applications that are especially relevant to ministers of the gospel, as well as to all Christians generally.
Print Edition available at https://www.amazon.com/Theology-Joy-Jonathan-Edwards-Happiness/dp/0692108505/