George Marsden’s – “Jonathan Edwards: A Life”

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A Masterful Cultural Biography

Book Review by Dr. David P. Craig

It’s hard to fathom how many hours of research and writing that went into this masterful biography of Jonathan Edwards. Marsden is to be commended for presenting the cultural and historical milieu in which Jonathan Edwards lived and served his God.

In this thorough yet readable account of Edwards life, Marsden paints a multi-faceted picture of the historical, cultural, political, philosophical, and theological climates in which Edwards lived and breathed. The author does a wonderful job of drawing the reader into the early to late eighteenth century of the pre-Revolutionary colonial British colonies.

If you are interested in American history, philosophy, theology, politics, and Christianity you will immensely benefit from this book. It is a treasure trove of helpful information, explanation of Edwards key ideas, and will illuminate your understanding and respect for the man that has been called the following: “The greatest mind America has ever produced” ; “The greatest Pastor in the history of America” ; “The greatest Philosopher in American History”; and “The greatest Theologian America has ever produced.” 

I recommend this book highly and know without any reservation whatsoever that lovers of Edwards will benefit richly from this outstanding biography of one of the most exceptional Christians that has graced our planet.

Book Review: This Day In Christian History – Edited by A. Kenneth Curtis and Daniel Graves

366 Compelling Events in the History of the Church

The stated purpose of this book by the editors is as follows: “It is our hope and prayer that these stories provide you with a sampling that at least suggests the incredible scope and reach of the Christian message, as well as the way that God has worked through an amazing diversity of individuals and institutions in countless circumstances. This volume offers one way to take the journey through our Christian past in a go-at-your-own-pace way that we hope we will stir your interest and fascination.”

The book does this very thing – it makes you marvel at God’s sovereignty and creativity in the various mysterious ways He works through individuals in all walks of life for His ultimate glory and unstoppable plan.

From January 1st to December 31st there is a full page for each day of the year with the top event of historical significance related to the Christian church for each day of the year. Each page has three inserts which are in black and white – usually a photo related to the event or person described, and painting, map detail, or something else related to the person or event, as well as descriptions of 2-7 other important events that took place on this particular day in history.

The end of the book contains a very helpful resources page for further study on any of the events, or people in the book, as well as very helpful subject index of dates, people, places, and events.

I have taken four classes in Church History in Seminary and have read various books on Church History and still found that this book contained events and people I had never heard of. If you know a lot about church history, or know nothing at all – you will benefit from and thoroughly enjoy this wide-ranging panorama of God’s work through peasants, pastors, missionaries, and Kings.

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