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Jonathan Edwards: A New Biography Hardcover – 1 Mar 1987
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It is easy to assume that Christians who are greatly used by God have blessed, easy, lives. Not so for Mr Edwards! Born into a godly, Christian family (his father was a Pastor), Mr Edwards was 18 when he was saved. He attended college, and was soon licensed as a minister. After a period teaching at Yale, in 1726 he was invited to join his Grandfather's church in Northampton, New England as minister. His ministry here was fruitful, and the church experienced the Great Awakening in the early 1740s, when Christians experienced revival in a deeper relationship with God and many were saved. However, division followed and Rev Edwards became a `prophet without honour' in his own time, when his Church asked him to leave after 23 years service as their Pastor. He was made homeless and had no income, and it was a while before he was called another Pastorate - a tough job on the frontier. He died aged 54, 3 months after accepting the Presidency of Princeton College.
Ian Murray is an excellent biographer; thorough in his researches, and yet spiritual in his approach. When you read a biography by him, not only will you learn a lot about the person, you will also learn spiritual truths and lessons from their lives. I recommend you read books by Mr Murray - and also books by Mr Edwards!
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This book has great personal sentiment, as well. Though I attribute its impact more to the actual life of Jonathan Edwards, this biography got a hold of my heart from the start. From the very first chapter I was introduced into a world of faith that I had never experienced; I was able to see and experience another's Christian life that has since altered my entire view of what it means to love and glorify God. I would recommend this book to any person who is looking for an example of what a Christian life--and a Christian family, for that matter--should look like. It is an eye-opening experience, one that is honest and reliable: Murray doesn't sugarcoat the difficulties that Edwards was blessed with. From Edwards' early education through the Great Awakening to his death as the President of the College of New Jersey (Princeton), I was blown away with how this man of God handled his entire life. Edwards is proof that an undivided concern for the Lord's glorification breathes true life into all things. All that being said, I can honestly say that I'm a better worshiper of God for having read this book.
I would definitely recommend this book to any person, especially Christians seeking to understand God through a lifestyle of faith. Biographies in general provide stirring examples of God's sovereign work. This book, though it might take a degree of interest in American history, has a universal audience as a result of Jonathan Edwards' universal theology.