The great theologian/professor J. Gresham Machen declared: “An outstanding fact of recent Church history is the appalling growth of ignorance in the Church.” I affirm his conclusion. Sadly, the Western church is not a reading church, at least not beyond church-growth strategies and self-help manuals. As a result, we are ignorant of the past. We are unaware of the giants of the faith, those that our Lord has anointed to help preserve His gospel message.
Simonetta Carr, in her latest work: “Jonathan Edwards: Christian Biographies for Young Readers” is doing her part to make sure we don’t forget the rich heritage that we have inherited. Her latest contribution to this series studies the life of what many consider to be the greatest intellect our continent has produced, namely pastor, theologian, missionary, writer, and college president, Jonathan Edwards.
The life of Edwards is one worth studying and digesting. His influence was massive then, and whether many recognize it, it is still massive today. Edwards formulating a thoughtful, intellectual defense of Christianity, one that saw God as sovereign over His creation and in redemption. Many today would like to separate science and the Bible, whereas Edwards saw our God as the God of science. But his greatest contributions would be in theology, as he articulated a compassionate Calvinism; in missions, when he worked to publish the diary of the young David Brainerd; and in understanding the Lord’s work in revival, particularly during the First Great Awakening.
This biography does a great job of covering the major points of his life. Though it is intended of “young readers”, I frankly find that distinction to be silly. I am far from a young reader and I loved the book. I heartily recommend this book for readers…of all ages.