Why you should be reading Jonathan Edwards

Why you should be reading Jonathan Edwards January 12, 2024

Image: IVP

I don’t know who the greatest living Christian scholar is, but there is a good argument to be made that it is George Marsden. Winner of multiple prestigious awards, Marsden’s scholarship is both academically rigorous and readable by non-specialists (and that is NOT a common combination). And while all of his works are worth your attention, his newest is as excellent as anything he’s produced so far. An Infinite Fountain of Light: Jonathan Edwards for the Twenty-First Century is a great little volume that is a solid place to start an exploration of the thought and works of Jonathan Edwards.

Of course there are many excellent introductions to Edwards out there, but this short book provides a unique twist by bringing into conversation Edwards, Benjamin Franklin (and the modern world he helped create), George Whitfield (and the modern Evangelicalism he helped create) and the issues we struggle with in our modern era. Of course there are other books that involve these three thinkers, but I am not aware of any that attempt drive home the practical application that Marden pursues there.

This book ends with an abridged version of Edwards’ sermon “A Divine and Supernatural Light”, and while this is an excellent sermon I’m not sure it was really necessary. That can be found online and in any number of other publications, so it’s not really necessary here (even if it does capture in Edwards’ own words much of what Marsden is saying about him).

Overall, this is a solid book that you should have on your shelf, or read and then give to someone who needs a starting point into Edwards.

Dr. Coyle Neal is co-host of the City of Man Podcast an Amazon Associate (which is linked in this blog), and an Associate Professor of Political Science at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, MO

"The Law. Exploring educational books about the law for kids is a crucial step in ..."

The Law
"Juggling work and studies can be overwhelming, which is why I sought help with my ..."

Common Grace, 3.70
"It's a great message! Christians need encouragement far more than a skinning because we aren't ..."

Possible Christianity

Denominations still matter

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!