I’ve had George Marsden’s 640-page biography of Jonathan Edwards on my shelf for a long time, but it is a little intimidating. If you’re like me, and you need something to get you going, then A Short Life of Jonathan Edwards (152 pages) will do the trick. Now I can’t wait to read the larger volume!
A Short Life is not an abridgment of the larger biography. It’s a completely new narrative. It’s fresh and readable, and made me want more.
Edwards lived from 1703-1758, and was a pastor, preacher, theologian, biographer, philosopher, and briefly the president of Princeton. He was a contemporary of Benjamin Franklin and George Whitefield. His books and papers are still widely read today.
Marsden not only makes Edwards come alive, but he concludes with a chapter on what we can learn from Edwards.
I admit that I’ve had a pretty inaccurate view of Edwards up until now. I’m glad to have this corrected. I’m always glad to be reminded that many of the issues that we think are new have been around a long time. I was sad to come to the end of this book. Highly recommended.