Item description for Heaven on Earth: Capturing Jonathan Edwards's Vision of Living in Between by Stephen J. Nichols...
Overview Heaven is not just our final destination. This book displays Jonathan Edwards's contagious vision of a heaven-inspired, heaven-directed, and heaven-centered life on earth.
Heaven isn't only about the future. It has everything to do with life on earth-life "in between." Jonathan Edwards understood this well. His writings are full of his thoughts on heaven and how those thoughts should make a difference in our lives.
This book focuses on key sermons by Edwards, showing readers how his insights can be applied to the challenges of living the Christian life in the twenty-first century. Edwards reminds us of our duty to live on earth in light of heaven and to endeavor to bring the realities and the beauty of heaven to earth-even if only in miniature. This book is for all believers wondering how to live on earth with a view of heaven, and those familiar with Edwards's works will have a special appreciation for this study.
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Studio: Crossway Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.54" Width: 5.58" Height: 0.39" Weight: 0.39 lbs.
Release Date Jun 6, 2006
Publisher GOOD NEWS PUBLISHING #65
ISBN 1581347855 ISBN13 9781581347852
Availability 0 units.
More About Stephen J. Nichols
Stephen J. Nichols (PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary) serves as the president of Reformation Bible College and chief academic officer of Ligonier Ministries. He is an editor of the Theologians on the Christian Life series and also hosts the weekly podcast 5 Minutes in Church History.
Eric T. Brandt (MA, Wheaton College) is an instructional designer and adjunct professor of church history at Reformation Bible College in Sanford, Florida. Eric and his wife, Megan, live in Lake Mary, Florida.
Stephen J. Nichols currently resides in the state of Pennsylvania. Stephen J. Nichols was born in 1970.
Stephen J. Nichols has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Heaven on Earth: Capturing Jonathan Edwards's Vision of Living in Between?
Catch the Vision of Living in Between Oct 26, 2007
As Christians we must try to balance seemingly contradictory views in many areas of our lives. We often tend to lose our balance and fall into an extreme on one side of an issue or the other. For example; it is difficult for us to comprehend the sovereignty of God in salvation and yet understand that we must invite and even plead with sinners to repent of their sins and come to Christ. Also, we strive with all our might to become more like Jesus Christ in daily life, and yet realize that God is ultimately working in us "both to will and to work for His good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13).
One of the main areas in which Christians struggle to maintain the proper balance is the tension between living as citizens of heaven and citizens of earth. Stephen Nichols wrote Heaven on Earth to deal with this tension. However, he does not go it alone. The entire book is based on the sermons of Jonathan Edwards. Through the explanation of several of Edwards' sermons, Nichols expounds the vision Edwards had of living on earth as a citizen of heaven.
Heaven on Earth is a short book, but is filled with helpful explanations of Edwards' thoughts on heaven. Nichols begins the book with the problem being discussed, namely that we live as dual citizens, and we must learn how to properly balance our time and efforts to reflect our commitment to heaven but our desire to impact this earth with the gospel. He explains the two extremes that Christians often fall into. First, there are those Christians that Nichols calls "monastery Christians". They live a life fearful of the world around them and with no desire to interact with it at all. "They refuse to live in this world and instead construct an entirely Christian one, from which they rarely break out." (p. 19) In contrast to these people are those Christians who live for this world so much that it appears they aren't even aware of the one to come. "They are consumed by this world's agenda and are driven by its passions." (p. 19)
After explaining the two extremes, Nichols spends the remaining six chapters teaching the proper balance of living on earth while bound for heaven. Each of these chapters is based on a sermon of Edwards. Nichols doesn't reproduce the entire sermon, but walks the reader through the major concepts presented in each one. For example, chapter two is based on the Edwards sermon, "Heaven Is a World of Love". Many people perceive Edwards as the preacher who preached the sermon, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God." This is only half the picture. In chapter two of this book we come to understand that Edwards was a man who thought often about heaven and longed to be there. Nichols walks the reader through the beautiful explanation Edwards gave of our future home. His vision of heaven is a vision of a world consumed by love. The helpful part of Edwards is that he does not stop by explaining what heaven will be like. He wants his listeners to understand how the proper vision of heaven will transform their lives on earth. "He points them to heaven with one hand, while with the other he directs their attention back to earth." (p. 32) This is where we come to understand the vision that Edwards had of living heaven on earth. "Living in between means we take both worlds into account. We are on the way to heaven, but we are not there yet. We applaud its breakthroughs in this world, but we know there are far better things to come." (p. 37) In other words, it is our duty as Christians to bring heaven to earth as much as possible.
The remaining chapters continue to investigate the tension of living in between. These chapters deal with such topics as "On the Way to Heaven", "Being Good Citizens", "But to Act Justly", "It's Only the Beginning", and "Meeting There at Last". Nichols closes the book with an abridged version of Edwards's sermon "Heaven Is a World of Love".
I believe this book will be helpful for a number of reasons. First, most of us tend to drift to one extreme or the other when it comes to living in between heaven and earth. For those who tend to live as "monastery Christians", this book will help to propel you out into the world to make an impact with the gospel. Nichols makes the point in the book that even though the Titanic is going down it is still our responsibility to polish the brass because it's God's ship. In other words, the earth will one day be burned up by fire, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be investing ourselves in others while we are on the earth. For those who tend to attach themselves to this earth, this book provides an appealing look at heaven. Living on earth is important, but we must remember it is not ultimately our home.
Also, Heaven on Earth will prove helpful because it will alter your perspective. Sometimes books are helpful because they provide specific instructions to deal with specific issues. Other books are helpful because they can spark a paradigm shift in the way you think. This book falls into the second category. Heaven on Earth will challenge your most basic thoughts about heaven, earth, and the possibility of living in between in a God honoring way. It takes purposeful effort to live out the vision Edwards sets. This book is a useful tool in catching that vision.
Heaven on Earth Mar 11, 2007
A very easy read and great introduction to Jonathan Edward. Many practical pointers on living in between. We liked it so well we did a Sunday school class on it.
Become Heavenly Minded and of Earthly Good Aug 30, 2006
It's easy for some people to become "so heavily minded they're of no earthly good," while others are more likely to be too earthly minded to be of no heavenly good. Scripture points us to a middle path, a way to live between the two worlds. Stehpen J. Nichols sheds light on this path through a collection of sermons by Jonathan Edwards in Heaven on Earth.
Through seven brief chapters Dr. Nichols explores a handful of Jonathan Edwards's sermons in an effort to explain what it means to live on earth with a vision of heaven. It includes themes of pilgrimage, citizenship, just action, waiting, and true happiness found in God's purposes for mankind. The book also includes an introduction on how to read Edwards' sermons, and an appendix containing an abridged version of the sermon "Heaven Is a World of Love."
This is a book that gets better as it goes, which makes its short length disappointing. I especially found the final two chapters to be insightful and though-provoking. Readers unfamiliar with Jonathan Edwards will learn much about his life as application of what he taught. While not an academically sophisticated work, Heaven on Earth will challenge every reader to make practical use of the theological truths it describes.
Excellent Readable Intro to Jonathan Edwards Life View Jul 28, 2006
Heaven on Earth is a wonderful summary of an aspect of Jonathan Edwards's thinking and preaching - specifically, how to long for heaven and the next life, while living, serving and enjoying our time here on Earth. Nichols is a very clear and enjoyable writer, and the book is relatively brief, so I would highly recommend it - especially if you think an "old theologian" like Edwards has no practical relevance to our lives today. Some of the chapter topics include: Living as preparation for heaven; the meaning of "our citizenship is in heaven" and how it impacts our life here; working to make this world better as stewardship of God's creation; the struggle of waiting in our lives; and how to deal with the deaths of loved ones, and how to see our lives as a journey towards heaven.
Here's a good summary passage near the end of the book to give you an idea both of J.E.'s theology, and of Nichols' way of explaining it: "Both in life and in death Edwards teaches us how to live the pilgrim life. He teaches us that as we make our way to heaven we should serve God and do what good we can. He teaches us that we should long for our heavenly home and that we should enjoy the foretastes of that home now." (pp. 105).
Nichols also gives an introductory section on how to read an Edwards sermon, and includes an appendix with the abridged text of an Edwards sermon, "Heaven is a World of Love" on 1 Cor. 13:8-10. Hopefully, as I know the author hopes, people after reading this book, will want to and feel able to tackle some of Edwards' actual writing. And anyone who does will be spiritually richer as a result-not because Edwards is so great, but because of his ability to describe the greatness and great love of our God and King. Highly recommended!