Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Communion in the Spirit

I read this book when it was a doctoral thesis, but I managed to miss it coming out a few months ago in paperback. I've ordered it and I'm keen to know how significantly Dr Caldwell has developed the argument of the thesis.
I blogged this book previously here.

The book blurb:

This study explores the central connection Edwards drew between his doctrines of religious experience and the Trinity: the person and work of the Holy Spirit.

Edwards envisioned the Spirit's inter-Trinitarian work as the affectionate bond of union between the Father and the Son, a work which, he argued, is reduplicated in a finite way in the work of redemption. Salvation is ultimately all about being drawn in love into the Trinitarian life of the Godhead.

Dr Caldwell takes us through the major regions of Edwards' theology - his Trinitarianism, his doctrine of the end for which God created the world, his Christology, and his doctrines of justification, sanctification and glorification - to demonstrate the centrality of the Holy Spirit throughout his theology.

'a fine piece of work', Douglas Sweeney


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So you recommend the purchase?
Crawford Gribben

8:35 am  
Blogger Michael McClenahan said...

Crawford, I would recommend it though I have to say that I may have enjoyed his thesis because it overlapped so significantly with my own!

There are a number of issues that I have - the most obvious being the scope of the subjects under discussion. Caldwell has written on just about all the big theological areas in this one volume. The weakness of this, in the thesis anyway,is that there is very little interaction with the secondary material, and more seriously, no discussion of the historical context or the development of the ideas that Edwards embraced. This is a common way to write on Edwards and, as I think I have said before (!), it is a weakness in method. I don't like reading a book on someone's ideas that leaves me no wiser about which century they lived in!

All that said, I have ordered it, and I will read it when it comes. The thesis contains some really helpful intrepretations of specific texts in JE.

8:51 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Michael. Maybe you or Caleb could post (say) a basic bibliography of a dozen or so texts that people who are approaching JE for the first time might find most useful?


12:09 pm  
Blogger Michael McClenahan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:12 pm  
Blogger Michael McClenahan said...


I've been asked to do something similar for someone else, so I will post it here when I've done it.


12:15 pm  
Blogger Jerry Stutzman said...

The book is available in the US through Wipf and Stock. (

1:09 pm  
Anonymous Rob Boss said...

Here is a Sirius radio interview with Dr. Caldwell entitled "Puritans and Jonathan Edwards A Discussion with Historical Theologian Robert Caldwell." Below is the link to the mp3 file.

-Rob Boss

5:56 pm  

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