Skip to content

The Brilliance of Jonathan Edwards

July 31, 2012

Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) was an American theologian, philosopher, pastor and scientist who was considered by many to be the greatest mind in American history.

I knew nothing about him until last year. I can’t remember what kicked off my interest in him exactly, but I’m so blessed from my studies of the man and his theology. I suspect there are many like me who know very little about Jonathan Edwards, so it’s my hope that this post will serve as an introduction for the uninitiated. For those who are already familiar with Edwards, maybe you will be blessed with some of the resources I’ve posted below.

My first introduction to Edwards was the sermon, God Glorified in Man’s Dependance which was full of solid exegesis, deep thinking, and devotional application. I then read his sermon, The Excellency of Christand it even surpassed the firstDue to their shorter length I’d recommend either to any interested readers as a good starting point.

Moving on from there, I read his A Dissertation Concerning the End for Which God Created the World. This work was life-changing for me as it opened my eyes to the LORD and His Word in new ways and revealed how everything is about God (and how that’s good news). It is a difficult work but I’d recommend it as essential reading for those who love studying theology. John Piper, Jim Hamilton, Tom Schreiner and many others have all been impacted heavily by this work and it can be seen in their writings and sermons.

I’m currently working my way through an audiobook of A Short Life of Jonathan Edwards” by George Marsden. His longer biography on Edwards (Jonathan Edwards: A Life) is considered the best (or perhaps tied with Iain Murray’s Jonathan Edwards: A New Biography). I have not yet read much else by Edwards, but his most famous and essential writings can be found (for free!) in the two-volume Works of Jonathan Edwards on CCEL.

Jonathan Edwards Resources

I’ve put together a list of resources I’ve found useful. All are free unless indicated by $/£:

If Edwards has impacted you at all, please let me know in the comments. Also feel free to share any Jonathan Edwards resources you have come across.

Advertisements
3 Comments leave one →
  1. Stephen permalink
    July 31, 2012 11:01 am

    Mate, great article and insights and help in pointing us to some excellent resources. It is all about Jesus and I know for the articles you shared with me about Edwards, thats exactly where his focus is also. I am constantly blessed by you son:-) dad

  2. August 2, 2012 7:50 pm

    You might be interested to see Roger Olson’s post, “Why is Jonathan Edwards considered so great?” at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rogereolson/2012/07/why-is-jonathan-edwards-considered-so-great/. Spoiler alert: Olson thinks he is overrated and had massively flawed theology.

    • mydigitalseminary permalink
      August 2, 2012 8:29 pm

      Hello. First, I’ve been aware of your website for a while and it has many viewers so I appreciate your noticing of my small blog and taking the time to comment on this post. I read Olson’s article and would encourage others to do so because he is a solid theologian (though I’d disagree with many of this views). The purpose of this post was not necessarily to engage in Edward’s views at this time, but rather to agree with Olson that: “…Edwards was a great man and deserves more and better respect than he gets in American public education.” Most people I’ve met have no real exposure to Edwards and that was the purpose of this post. As to Olson’s post, I’d have wished that he quoted Edwards to substantiate every claim, and then Scripturally refuted what he saw as Edward’s errors; rather than appealing mostly to Libertarian Free Will as a presupposed philosophical requirement that we bring to God and His creation. Thank you again for your post and I’ll be sure to regularly visit your site now that it’s back on my radar. Blessings.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: