From the JEC Blog

Posts Tagged ‘sermons’

Sweeney’s BookNotes: The Sermons of George Whitefield, 2 vols., ed. Lee Gatiss (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012)

George WhitefieldThis handy collection of sermons has been edited by the Rev. Lee Gatiss, an Anglican minister, a doctoral student at Cambridge, director-elect of the Church Society (a Church of England ministry), visiting lecturer in church history at Wales Evangelical School of Theology, and editor of the British internet journal, Theologian.

Published first in the UK in the Reformed Evangelical Anglican Library (REAL, which belongs to the Church Society), these volumes feature 61 of Whitefield’s best-known sermons, most of which are taken from the fifth and sixth volumes of The Works of the Reverend George Whitefield, ed. John Gillies (1771-1772) and presented in a nearly canonical order. Seventy-nine Whitefield sermons are available in print, in one place or another, but only 57 of these were authorized (and thus revised) for the press by Whitefield himself, who felt that many of his early talks proved much too “apostolical,” impulsive, and judgmental for publication. Gatiss here reissues Whitefield’s 57 favorites, along with two others judged by Gillies to be fit for publication and another two that Gatiss deems too precious for exclusion (“The Method of Grace,” on Jeremiah 6:14, and “The Good Shepherd,” on John 10:27-28).

Gatiss himself has written a helpful introduction to the sermons, placing them in historical and theological context. His footnotes offer further information about the texts and their historical references. Gatiss has updated the sermons by lightly modernizing their grammar, spelling, punctuation, and paragraph breaks, adding numerous subheadings in order to serve the sermons to readers in bite-size helpings. He has modernized some of Whitefield’s English Bible quotations (most of which were taken from the King James Bible), but has not provided an index of any kind.

Gatiss aims these volumes at Christians, mainly evangelical Anglicans, whom Gatiss hopes to inspire to a more bold and faithful witness. Students will also want to use them, but should bear in mind that very little text-critical scholarship has been done on Whitefield’s sermons, few of whose manuscripts survive, and many of which may well be based on auditors’ transcriptions.

It is high time for someone to publish a critical edition of the extant Whitefield corpus. David Ceri Jones of Aberystwyth University is trying to raise funds to pay for a scholarly edition of the correspondence of Whitefield (roughly 4,000 letters, nearly 600 of which have not been published heretofore). May his efforts come to fruition. May they expand, in fact, to comprehend the whole of Whitefield’s corpus.

–By Douglas Sweeney, Director of the JEC at TEDS

New Directions in Edwards Studies: Barshinger on Edwards and the Psalms

The Jonathan Edwards Center at TEDS is pleased to announce its second lecture in the “New Directions in Edwards Studies” series. David Barshinger, a PhD candidate at TEDS, will be giving a stimulating lecture on the significance of the Psalms in Jonathan Edwards’ gospel-centered, Scripture-saturated ministry.

The lecture will be on February 23, 2011 at 1pm in the Hinkson Hall on the campus of TEDS. The event is free and all are welcome.

FREE COPY of the 5-volume set: Owen Strachan and Douglas Sweeney, The Essential Edwards Collection (Moody, 2010) to the first five attendees to arrive at the lecture!

Abstract: “Making the Psalter One’s ‘Own Language’: Jonathan Edwards Engages the Psalms.”

While Jonathan Edwards is hailed as a great theologian and philosopher, few remember him for his exegesis of Scripture. Yet every day Edwards delved into the Bible, searching for a deeper understanding of God and divine things; indeed, the Scriptures saturate Edwards’ sermons, treatises, and several notebooks he kept for personal study. Looking at Edwards’ engagement with the Psalms, one of his favorite books of the Bible, reveals that his writings were infused with Psalmistic language, that the Psalms deeply informed his theology, and that the Psalms provided Old Testament support for the gospel thrust of his ministry.