The Biographers and Jonathan Edwards

Today’s post is an excerpt from my essay on George Marsden, Jonathan Edwards, and the Art of Religious Biography, from the recently-released book American Evangelicalism: George Marsden and the State of American Religious History (Univ. of Notre Dame Press), which I co-edited with Darren Dochuk and Kurt Peterson. Biographers have put Jonathan Edwards’s thought and life [Read More...]

Jonathan Edwards’s Scottish Connection

In his magisterial biography of Jonathan Edwards, George Marsden reminds us that there was a time, in the decades after his death, when Jonathan Edwards was more popular in Scotland than in America. Indeed, there was a fleeting moment, after the Northampton church dismissed Edwards in 1750, when Edwards might have moved his family to Scotland. [Read More...]

“An Index to Books”: John Erskine and The Evangelical Disseminators

I recently read Jonathan Yeager’s excellent Enlightened Evangelicalism: The Life and Thought of John Erskine (Oxford, 2011), and am struck by Yeager’s thesis that Erskine, one of the leading evangelical pastors in eighteenth-century Scotland, was especially significant as a “disseminator of enlightened evangelicalism.” Of course, Erskine was also an important theologian and preacher, but where he [Read More...]

Slavery, Historical Heroes, and “Precious Puritans”

A fascinating controversy has erupted between the worlds of modern rap music and the early American Puritans, because of a song, “Precious Puritans,” by Christian rapper Propaganda. For brevity’s sake, I won’t explore all the commentaries on the controversy, but to catch the flow of it, pastor and blogger Joe Thorn discusses the song here with [Read More...]

Jonathan Edwards on True Christianity

Our church recently hosted a presentation by Owen Strachan, who teaches theology and church history at Boyce College in Louisville, Ky. Strachan is the co-author, with Douglas Sweeney (Strachan’s doctoral mentor), of the five-volume Essential Edwards Collection (2010). I happily came away from the session with a copy of one of these volumes, Jonathan Edwards on True Christianity. [Read More...]

Hell: Who Goes There, and For How Long?

Evangelical Christians have engaged in a robust, rancorous debate about hell in the past year. As I wrote in USA Today shortly after Osama Bin Laden’s death, this debate was precipitated partly by indiscreet comments about Bin Laden’s eternal destiny, and, more importantly, by the publication of Rob Bell’s Love Wins. Bell’s book strongly implied that because of [Read More...]


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