The End For Which God Created The World

Why was the world created? What is its chief end? In the late 1700s, theologian Jonathan Edwards wrote a powerful answer to these important questions in his famous Dissertation Concerning the End for Which God Created the World.   


This morning at Men's Group I shared a bit about this wonderful piece of literature.  I encouraged the men to read it and share it with their families.  To get this resource into their hands and other brothers and sisters in our church, I decided to upload it to our website.  Click here to get the free PDF and prayerfully this will be food for your soul.  By way of introduction to this text, let me give you some biographical tid-bits on Edwards (many of these tid-bits are a cut-and-paste from wiki). 


Jonathan Edwards is widely acknowledged to be America's most important and original philosophical theologian and one of America's greatest intellectuals.  In addittion to being a theologian, Edwards was a pastor, missionary and the president of Princeton University.  He played a critical role in shaping the First Great Awakening, and oversaw some of the first revivals in 1733–35 at his church in Northampton, Massachusetts.  Edwards is famously known for his sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God", which has become a classic of early American literature.  He was the father of 11 children to his wife Sarah (who was an amazing woman and deep intellectual, raised by the founder of Yale College).   Edwards wrote many articles and books, in addition to preaching countless sermons.  


A Dissertation Concerning the End for Which God Created the World was a work Edwards started in the mid-1750s but it was not published until after his death in 1765.  This dissertation was published concurrently with his famous The Nature of True Virtue, and these two works have a great deal of overlap and complimentary theologies, specifically the biblical theme of God's aim in creating the world for His glory. In his Dissertation Concerning the End for Which God Created the World Edwards argues against the people of his day (and our day!) that claimed that human happiness was the end for which God created the world. Edwards instead puts forth the idea that the reason for God's creation of the world was not human happiness, but the magnification of his own glory and name.  Edwards then continues to argue that since true happiness comes from God alone, human happiness is an extension of God's glory, and that there are "ultimate" ends and "chief" ends, but they all end at the same conclusion. Edwards, like in Virtue, discusses how there is no true happiness without being happy in God.  This is the theme of our current Men's Ministry course at Del Rey, so Edwards is a timely read for the men in our fellowship.