Jonathan Edwards presents us with a remarkable combination of piety, practical leadership, and intellect. This course will provide an introduction to his spirituality, his theology, his responses to the challenges of the enlightenment, his analysis of revivals, his understanding of authentic Christian experience, his work as a pastor and missionary, his understanding of authentic church in his eighteenth century-setting, and his life and family.
- I wish I would have read the Review before buying this
This is not an audio book. It is a lecture given by a professor with all the "um"s and "uh"s of someone talking of someone stumbling over their words. I failed to read the review and learn this from another person who bought it.
- Save time and get the book instead
This is a series of lectures given by George Marsden on Jonathan Edwards. I bought it because (a) George Marsden has a high reputation as a historian and (b) it is really long, so I thought that would mean heaps of info about Edwards' life and thought. Also I thought it was a book when I was buying it, but that was my mistake.
There is a lot of info presented in the lectures. There was more on the surrounding culture than I expected, and I think that's because Marsden intended this course as an introduction that would enable students to get the most out of reading Edwards' books. There was also plenty on revivalism, and plenty of food for thought arising from Edwards' involvement in and views on the revivals of his time.
I was expecting more material on Edwards' life and thought. There is just less detail than is suggested by the 7 or so hours. I suspect that Marsden expects his students to be reading Edwards' works as well as attending the lectures, and perhaps also consulting his own biography of Edwards (which is hailed by many as very, very good).
The other reason for my disappointment with the lack of material is Marsden's lecturing style. He speaks slowly, with frequent pauses and false starts. The audio also includes questions and discussions with the students, and often you can only hear Marsden's comments with any clarity.
Maybe it was worth the money, but I do feel like my time was wasted. For that reason I would recommend getting a proper biography of Edwards. ChristianAudio has a short version of Marsden's biography; maybe that's what I was after.