Communicating God’s Trinitarian Fullness
An Exposition of Jonathan Edwards’ End of Creation
By Joe RigneY
Publication Date: September 19, 2023
About this book
A glimpse into Jonathan Edwards’ rapturous vision of God
God created the world for his glory alone. Most Christians would confess this claim, but struggle to explain it. How could God be all-sufficient in himself and yet gain anything from creating this cosmos? Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) provided a classic answer to this timeless question in his End for Which God Created the World, but most modern readers need a guide through this difficult text.
In this book, Joe Rigney points the way to an enriched understanding of Edwards’s classic and the sublime mysteries which it plumbs: that God has an end in creation; that God is eternally happy and self-sufficient in Himself; that God creates everything from nothing; and that God values things according to their value. Rigney’s work invites academics, pastors, and laypeople alike into conversation with one of the brightest lights of the Reformed tradition.
Paperback | 158 pp. | 5×8 | PubliSHed September 19, 2023 | ISBN 978-1-949716-17-7
If you are interested in a bulk order please contact [email protected].
From the Book
“God in himself is infinitely and unchangeably happy and perfect in himself. He has infinite and unwavering self-knowledge and self-delight. God generates the Son through his own self-reflection, and spirates the Spirit through the mutual delight between the Father and the Son. Thus, God knows himself in his perfect image in the Son, and loves himself in the person of the Holy Spirit, who is the bond of union between the Father and Son. The distinctions between God, his idea, and his love are the only absolute or real distinctions in God, or his only real attributes. Each of these attributes is God himself, since God is simple pure act, and everything that is in God is God. Moreover, each of these is a distinct person, since each of them has understanding and will by virtue of their ineffable mutual indwelling. Additionally, God not only loves himself in the Holy Spirit, but he also loves his trinitarian fullness. This self-knowledge and self-love is eternally and fully active and occurrent.”
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Part 1: Theological Background
- Divine Incomprehensibility
- Divine Personhood
- Divine Happiness
- Divine Simplicity
- Divine Perichoresis
- The Trinitarian Missions
- Summary of Edwards’s Trinitarianism
- Edwards’s Goals and Methodology in End of Creation
Part 2: Exposition of End of Creation
- Exposition of End of Creation
- Chapter 1, Section 1
- Chapter 1, Section 2
- Chapter 1, Section 3
- Chapter 1, Section 4
- Chapter 2, Sections 1–6
- Chapter 2, Section 7
Part 3: Analysis and Clarification
- Does Edwards Rely Too Much on Reason?
- Do Dormant Attributes Compromise Divine Aseity?
- Is Creation Necessary?
- Is God Free?
About the Author
Joe Rigney (PhD University of Chester) is Fellow of Theology at New Saint Andrews College in Moscow, Idaho. He is the author of numerous books, including Live Like a Narnian: Christian Discipleship in Lewis’ Chronicles, The Things of Earth: Treasuring God by Enjoying His Gifts, Lewis on the Christian Life: Becoming Fully Human in the Presence of God, and Courage: How the Gospel Creates Christian Fortitude.
Praise for this work
“In his work Communicating God’s Trinitarian Fullness: An Exposition of Jonathan Edwards’ End of Creation, Joe Rigney demonstrates a careful approach to scholarship, making a distinctive contribution to the field of Edwards studies. Rigney not only provides a comprehensive examination of the theological underpinnings behind Edwards’s argument in End of Creation, but also offers a comprehensive exposition of this treatise, showcasing an exemplary level of engagement with existing scholarly discourse. Given the ongoing critical assessment of the writings of Jonathan Edwards, Rigney’s scholarship emerges as indispensable in the scholarly evaluation of America’s preeminent theologian.”
– Adriaan C. Neele
Vice President, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary | Research Scholar, Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University
“This is a book for heart and for head. It quenches our spiritual thirst by looking into the heart of the triune God. Carefully, Joe Rigney peels out Jonathan Edwards’ insights about the triune God. In doing so, he reveals God’s love for Himself that leads Him to communicate this inexhaustible fullness to his creatures. God’s glory does not compete with our happiness, but it makes us share in God’s own knowledge, love and joy. I like this book, this stuff, this depth, this logic, and this warmth.”
– Prof. Dr. Willem van Vlastuin
Director Jonathan Edwards Center Benelux, Chair Theology and Spirituality of Reformed Protestantism, Free University of Amsterdam.
“I love reading books that have clear goals. And Joe Rigney’s Communicating God’s Trinitarian Fullness does just that. It is in the first instance a commentary on Edwards’s End for which God created the world. But more than this, it is also a critique of competing interpretations of Edwards’s philosophical theology, providing a confident path through the debates. And it contains a concise contribution in its own right to Edwards’s doctrine of the Trinity, the basic bedrock for his eschatology. It isn’t a big book, but it does pack a punch beyond its weight.”
– Rhys Bezzant
Ridley College, Melbourne
“Edwards’ End of Creation has for a long time both dazzled and puzzled readers: it contains such a breathtaking vision of God and the world he created, yet some of its statements appear to suggest that Edwards struggled to affirm a classical articulation of the Christian God. In this tightly reasoned and wonderfully compact book, Joe Rigney artfully compiles a superb set of arguments demonstrating Edwards’s fidelity to classical orthodoxy in End of Creation. It is an outstanding handbook that shines much light on Edwards’s classic!”
– Dr. Robert Caldwell
Professor of Church History | Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
“Jonathan Edwards’s Dissertation Concerning the End for Which God Created the World is a rare theological work in terms of its theoretical elegance, argumentative rigor, and depth of systematic insight. Joe Rigney is to be thanked for providing a clear and penetrating analysis of this text which showcases Edwards’s brilliance. Communicating God’s Triune Fullness is an invaluable resource for students of Edwards as well as for theologians, ministers, and Christian laypersons from various theological traditions who want to inquire into the end for which God created the world.”
– Jordan Wessling
Assistant Professor of Religion, Lindsey Wilson College
MORE FROM DAVENANT PRESS
The Davenant Institute endeavors to restore wisdom for the contemporary church. We seek to sponsor historical scholarship at the intersection of the church and academy, build friendships and facilitate collaboration within the Reformed and evangelical world, and equip the saints with time-tested resources for faithful public witness. Below are some of the works we’ve published towards that end.