I’m not writing a full review of this book. It’s a mixed bag. There’s some good stuff on these eleven theologians, but McDermott also has some lapses in judgment. One of the most disturbing is his position that the Reformation was unnecessary. The best chapter is the one on Jonathan Edwards, which is not surprising since McDermott has done a lot of work on him. I took note of this paragraph particularly:
Edwards suggests that this is why saints love the gospel — because, at least in part, of its holiness. The good news (the literal meaning of gospel) is that a holy God joins an unholy people to himself, confers on them Jesus’ own holiness so that in the Father’s eyes they are holy, and then gradually makes them actually holy by the power of his Holy Spirit. This is the mind-boggling happy news of the gospel. (126)
And because of this gospel, we’re destined for the presence of God, which is beautiful and wonderful because it is a place of holiness (125).