4 Stars out of 5
The Essential Jonathan Edwards is a must-have if you are already a Jonathan Edwards fan. I
have read and loved some of his works, so I was excited to receive a
free advanced copy of it in exchange for an honest review via netgalley.
Jonathan Edwards epitomized the pastor/theologian title. His knowledge
of God had a direct effect in his heart and life. And it is to our
spiritual benefit to learn from his example.
It truly is a
comprehensive book that summarizes Edwards’ biography and writings. The
authors didn’t shy away from including even his shameful stance on
slavery. I thoroughly enjoyed the first third that covers his life
story. I breezed through this part.
I didn’t get as engrossed in
the last two-thirds that covers Edwards’ published works. The authors
quote him extensively and add their explanation to Edwards’ points. This
is especially helpful for many of us who are not used to reading
colloquial English. I have tried many times to read Puritan works, but
end up giving up part of the way. I love the wisdom I can glean from
them, but they are not easy reads.
There were some questionable
things that Edwards believed that I have to research further. For
example, as mentioned earlier, Edwards believed that slavery was not
incompatible with his faith. He also made a distinction between the OT
church being Christ’s mother and the NT church as His wife.
would not recommend reading this book cover to cover, but it is
excellent to have in your library as a reference book if you want to
know Edwards’ beliefs in certain topics. The book is written for the
purpose of introducing its readers not just to the scholarly approach to
Scripture, “not to shoot over people’s heads with lofty academic
discussion, but to fire the heart and mind to embrace the thrilling
experience of a God-centered existence.” I believe the author succeeded
in doing what they set out to do.