Dying Well—Jonathan Edwards

Bryan A. Just, MA
Douglas A. Sweeney, PhD

As soon as Jonathan Edwards’ colleagues had discerned that he should become the third president of the College of New Jersey (later Princeton University), “he girded up his loins,” as Hopkins stated, “and set off,”[1] leaving in early January of 1758. He left his wife and children behind, intending to move them in the spring after the weather had improved.

After settling into his house, Edwards met his students and tutors, preached to them on several Sundays in the Princeton College chapel, wrote some questions in theology for Princeton’s senior class, and was installed “in the president’s chair” by the Princeton Corporation on the 16th of February, 1758.[2] Things seemed to be going smoothly.

No sooner had he settled into a regular routine, however, than Edwards chose to set a good example for the locals and receive an inoculation.

When Christians Face Infertility

Janie Valentine, MA

In June, Will Honeycutt encouraged churches to be sensitive to congregants struggling with infertility and suggested several practical steps church leaders can take to display empathy and support for infertile couples. Honeycutt’s piece concludes, “We must...defeat the notion that the inability to procreate makes life meaningless or robs men and women of their identity. Our identity is not wrapped up in our ability to procreate but our ability to be obedient disciples of Jesus.”[1] Honeycutt’s piece describes how a church can respond to the presence of infertility, especially on a day when the blessing of children takes center-stage, such as Mother’s Day. However, churches also have a responsibility to proactively guide Christians to face infertility in a godly way long before the fertility specialist delivers an unfortunate diagnosis.

Praying through Chronic Illness

Bryan A. Just, MA

In a previous Intersections piece, Dr. Kelly Kapic discussed our responsibility to those who are suffering and addressed some problems of becoming overly focused on the bodily healing of the one who is hurting. His conclusion is that we do not need to try to heal these people or give them advice—we need to pray for them and love them. Failure to pray is certainly a failure to love. But, this brings us back to our original problem: how should we pray for those who are suffering when our requests for healing seem to go unnoticed by the Great Physician?

What Is Human?

Charles Baldanza, MDiv
Nathan Barczi, PhD

You are standing in front of a large tub. It has, say, 6 gallons of water, 37 lbs. of carbon, 6.5 lbs. of nitrogen, 3 lbs. of calcium, 2 lbs. of phosphorus, and about 4 lbs. of some other trace elements. Ethically, you could do anything you wanted to that soup—buy it, sell it, experiment on it. But, if that same material were rearranged very precisely, it would be your neighbor. She would have autonomy and dignity; no one could buy or sell or experiment on her without her consent, even if she had died. Why? What is so special about that particular configuration of matter?