For a while now I've been intrigued by Jonathan Edwards and lately that intrigue has turned into a stronger desire to dive into his works. So as an introductory study I've decided to read the newly released 'God's Grand Design: The Theological Vision of Jonathan Edwards' by Sean Michael Lucas. My hope is that this book will answer some basic questions I have and lead me down the trail of deeper study and understanding of this great American Theologian.
One of the first things Lucas begins to explain in this book is Edwards' understanding of the Trinity. He uses two famous analogies that help explicate the relationship of the Triune God, the psychological analogy and the social analogy. While neither is a perfect explanation, both help the inner theologian in all of us better understand the relationship God has within himself.
Edwards concludes a few things from these analogies, his reason, and his study of scripture:
1. God's own happiness is at the center of who he is. 2. God did not create the universe we live in because he was unhappy without it, on the contrary, he created all that is created so that he could communicate his eternal happiness and delight outside of himself. 3. Because God is eternally and infinitely happy in and of himself he stands in absolutely no need of anything from us. 4. The praise we return to him, once we have realized the glorious perfection and beauty of God, ushers us into that very same Trinitarian delight that God has known from eternity past and will know into eternity future.
In other words, the redemption of our souls by the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ accomplishes the grand design of God: that God's redeemed creation might participate and communicate in the eternal happiness of God.
This is so cool. God had absolutely no need to create us, none. We can't offer him anything, we are dependent on him not the other way around. This puts everything in perspective.
I'm alive because God decided to share his eternal delight with me, so that somebody outside of himself could experience the true delight, love, community, and relationship he has experienced for all eternity.
This life I live is a gift in the truest sense: something that wasn't necessary but nonetheless given out of love.