Jonathan Edwards is one of the most extraordinary figures in American history. Arguably the most brilliant theologian ever born on American soil, Edwards (1703–1758) was also a pastor, a renowned preacher, a missionary to the Native Americans, a biographer, a college president, a philosopher, a loving husband, and the father of eleven children.
George M. Marsden — widely acclaimed for his magisterial large study of Edwards — has now written a new, shorter biography of this many-sided, remarkable man. A Short Life of Jonathan Edwards is not an abridgment of Marsden’s earlier award-winning study but is instead a completely new narrative based on his extensive research. The result is a concise, fresh retelling of the Edwards story, rich in scholarship yet compelling and readable for a much wider audience, including students.
- Good book, bad recording
The peek into the life of Jonathan Edwards and his family, while somewhat tainted by the worldview of the author, remains informative and edifying.
The quality of the recording, on the other hand, was quite disappointing, with pops and skips that devolved to the point of "AristocraticFatic Familyamily" in the midst of Chapter 3.
- Good background for those who will read Edwards
This book provides valuable insight into the type of man Edwards was and what he was trying to accomplish in books like The Religious Affections. Like other reviewers, I appreciated the way this book juxtaposes the lives and worldviews of Edwards and Franklin, showing how each made a mark that shaped American culture.
If you want to start reading Edwards then I recommend reading this book as a survey first so that you can appreciate the context into which he spoke.
5 stars to offset the unsupported, negative assertion in another review.
- Whet your appetite for more of Jonathan Edwards and his works...
The Christianaudio.com free book of the month for October was A Short Life of Jonathan Edwards by George M. Marsden.
I really enjoyed listening to this book. I didn't really know anything about the life of Jonathan Edwards before this book. I knew the name, I knew that he had a major impact in the evangelical world, and I knew that there were several of his works that were on my list of "to read" at some point in the future, but frankly, I was fairly ignorant as to why his name was "known."
From what I understand, this book was meant to be an abbreviated version of a larger book by George M. Marsden. I haven't attempted to verify that, but I think this book mentions that in the introduction or the appendix. I am sure that a longer work would be of great value, but if you are seeking to find the reasons why Jonathan Edwards has become an influential name in the realm of Christianity, then I would highly suggest this book. It gives all of the basic information as to his history, the setting of his ministry, contemporary figures, works accomplished, family life, and personal impact. I didn't feel that anything was left out concerning important aspects of his life.
This book will whet your appetite for learning more about Jonathan Edwards and for reading the books that he has authored. The voice talent for the reading of this book did an excellent job, and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to find out about this amazing man.
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I found the book interesting.
I haven't heard much about Edwards (I'm norwegian) except and hour long introduction by Dr. Curt D. Daniel.
I found Edward's life and family life interesting. I don't care about the accusations against the author in Philips review. The book is a presentation of Edward's life, not the author. The book was good.
Tips: Books like this can be listened to in double speed on ex. ipod
- Scholarly and Spiritually Ignorant
The work as a whole has value for setting Edwards in his time and the relationships that influenced him. However, the author shows a glaring ignorance of faith in Christ and a close walk with the Savior. He also has the bias of secularists that Edwards parents "forced their religion down his throat." Again, the author shows no experience of a relationship with the LORD and effects it has on ones life.
- I thought the parallel between Edwards...
I thought the parallel between Edwards and Ben Franklin was extremely helpful given most people are more familiar with Franklin than with Edwards. It was also helpful to see how Edwards was influenced by the Puritans given he lived decades removed from their influence. Ultimately, I was struck by Marsden’s focus on Edwards’ short-comings.
A Short Life of Jonathan Edwards deserves to be read or listened to by anyone interested in 1) Christian history, 2) Reformed Christian history, or 3) American history. It can be said that Edwards impacted every area of American history during his journey on this earth. It can also be said that he is still influencing countless Christians to this day. Was he a lightning rod for conflict? Yes, but then again so was Moses. If you have not read or listened to this book, you should add it to your “read immediately” pile.
Terry Delaney, ChristianBookNotes.com