Review Details

Jonathan Edwards (Trailblazers Series)

Product Review (submitted on October 31, 2018):
I listened to this short audio-book (from ChristianAudio.com) while waiting for a recent flight, and only sort of enjoyed it. While it covers some of the major events in the life of Jonathan Edwards, it's not enough for a reader to really come to know the man. It's more a book of fictionalized anecdotes than a biography, so prepare yourself for an interesting distraction more than an education when you read it.

The story starts with Jonathan running through the woods with his sisters and finding himself fascinated by the spiders who live their quiet lives away from human eyes. That Jonathan loved nature is no secret (which is one reason I'm becoming more interested in him!), and that he used aspects of nature as illustrations in his sermons is most famously displayed in his masterful sermon, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God." I'd like to read more of his sermons to see how else he utilizes his knowledge of the natural world to display God's glory to his hearers.

Several characteristics of this book make it one I'll not read again. The anecdotes chosen for this book (and then fictionalized with thoughts, emotions, and dialogue) seem disjointed at times. Perhaps author Christian George desired to provide a fresh look at a man whose biographies are many, and if so, I guess he's dealt us something unique. I'm just not sure who his intended audience might be. Children? Teens? Certainly not those already familiar with Church History, as this is a poor biographical sketch of someone already familiar to us.

I also must take issue with the title. While the book touches on Edwards' vast mental capacities, its title "America's Genius" doesn't really fit. Jonathan Edwards might have been a genius, but that's not why we remember him and that's not the point of this book. If the author has only copied a title that others had given to Edwards (I'm unsure), then my apologies.

If you're looking for a quick diversion into the life of a famous preacher, this book might be for you. Otherwise I'd suggest you seek out more well-established biographies by stronger biographers.

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