Sam Storms is no slouch when it comes to Jonathan Edwards. Edwards was the subject of both his Master’s thesis and his PhD dissertation. Yet, even he recognizes that Edwards’ can sometimes be difficult to understand. And, one of his most important works, Religious Affections, can be sometimes one of the most difficult. I recall when my father and I were in seminary our Hermeneutics professor had a contest with students to see who could read more of the Bible (from Genesis all the way through); he or the students. My father beat him near the end of the semester. The prize was a copy of Religious Affections. Needless to say, after reading it he concluded he did not understand any of it and thought perhaps there was little good in reading Edwards if it were so difficult.
I have shared those thoughts. Edwards is indeed difficult! But what we have now is something we did not have before. We now have Sam Storms’ Signs of the Spirit: An Interpretation of Jonathan Edwards’ Religious Affections. This book (available here) is a wonderful help in understanding this difficult but incredibly important book. I purchased a copy with my 25% discount card for being at the Andrew Fuller the Reader conference from the LifeWay Campus Store at SBTS (guess you should have all been at the conference)! Having skimmed it I have found that it is an incredibly helpful volume that will aide my own understanding of Edwards’.
In it, he offers paraphrases of Edwards’ writings interposed with his own thoughts. Storms is a master of exegeting Edwards and making him clearer for us. The book is worth its price for the second part where Storms offers personal applications of Edwards’ work. Storms writes with a pastor’s heart and with a superb historian’s skill. I recommend highly this volume for anyone who wants to better understand Edwards’ especially on this most important topic of the Religious Affections.