Book Review: Altogether Lovely (Jonathan Edwards)

Book Review by James Jeffery

Whether you are a pastor, ministry-leader, or layperson, you will be richly blessed by Altogether Lovely as it presents the Jesus who saved us, and who we serve. Presbyterian pastor Robert Murray McCheyne once said, “For every one look at yourself, take ten looks at Christ. He is altogether lovely.” Our generation would do well to listen to the sermons of Edwards because they cause us to look heavenward and meditate upon the glorious God who saved us, and to see that He truly is Altogether Lovely.

“Now the main reason why the godly man has his heart thus to heaven is because God is there; that is the palace of the Most High. It is the place where God is gloriously present, where His love is gloriously manifested, where the godly may be with Him, see Him as He is, and love, serve, praise, and enjoy Him perfectly” (p. 3)

Altogether Lovely is a compilation of some of the most profound sermons on the person and work of Christ preached by Great Awakening preacher, Jonathan Edwards. Every one of these sermons dispel the common myth that Jonathan Edwards was a sterile, intellectual, and stern pastor whose preaching lacked zeal and emotion. To the contrary, these sermons reveal the tender and pastoral heart of Edwards and point us to the intimate and loving God whom he worshipped. Each chapter in the book is an individual sermon that centres on a different aspect of the person of Jesus Christ. If you are anything like me, each and every sermon should ineffably impact your heart.

“Oh, be persuaded to hide yourself in Christ Jesus! What greater assurance of safety can you desire? He has undertaken to defend and save you, if you will come to Him. He engaged in it before the world was, and He has given His faithful promise which He will not break; and if you will but make your flight there, His life shall be for yours.” (pp. 91-92)

If you are a preacher, you must read the sermons of Jonathan Edwards not only as a model of faithful preaching, but to direct your thoughts and devotions to the Christ who loved us, and who we labour for. This book will reignite your trust in the power of God’s Word to change lives and will supercharge your ministry by redirecting the focus of your ministry to person and work of the resurrected Lord Jesus.

If you are a layperson, this book will show you why Christ truly is worthy of your worship and will reassure you of who you are in Christ. Reading these sermons will cause your mind to transcend the heavenly realms and see Christ as He is, in His glory and splendour.

Altogether Lovely will display to your soul the Christ of the Scriptures in an electrifying and magnifying new way. I concur with the late R.C. Sproul when he said, “The student who discovers the treasures contained in the writings of Edwards is a student whose life will be unalterably changed” (p. ix).

Altogether Lovely

Altogether Lovely

The Glory and Excellency of Jesus Christ

by Jonathan Edwards