Friday, March 04, 2016

A couple book suggestions about Jonathan Edwards

Well, I had planned a couple more posts this week including a Recent Reading.  But... life happened.  Not the least of which was having to rush my husband to the ER.  He had stopped by church to talk to our pastor when he was taken suddenly and violently ill.

It was quite a roller coaster ride as the possibilities of what was wrong went from "not serious" to "serious" to "life threatening" to the decision from medical staff that he had some kind of virus.

Thankfully, he is recovering very well and now just feels a bit as if he was hit by the proverbial truck.  Since he is much better, we will be able to attend the "revealing of the baby's sex party" this weekend.  My daughter-in-law and her family are so sweet.  When I knew I could not make the trip to her parent's house where it was to occur, they moved the party to the kid's house close to us.  Even though it is much smaller!  Personally I think it is a boy but hoping for a girl.  I'll be happy either way.

So next week I'll write a Recent Readings post... God willing, the creek don't rise, and we stay relatively healthy! 

I do want to give a quick answer to the question asked about my favorite books about Jonathan Edwards.  I did like the book I reviewed this week but it is quite "theological".  It is best to begin with books which talk more about Edwards before attempting to read works which emphasize writings by Edwards.  I've read a number of books about Edwards during my "Stalking Jonathan Edwards" years but my suggestions to begin with are two favorites...

A Short Life of Jonathan Edwards by George Marsden
George Marsden wrote what is called the "definitive" very large and scholarly biography of Jonathan Edwards called Jonathan Edwards: A Life.  Then he wrote A Short Life of Jonathan Edwards for those of us who prefer something short and sweet but still quite informative.

This biography was quite fun to read and not only taught more about Edwards but about life in America prior to the American Revolution.  It shows us why we most likely would not have had the American Revolution without the Great Awakening.  Very interesting!

Marriage to a Difficult Man by Elisabeth Dodds
When I was pondering my ten favorite books... ever... a couple years ago, this book went on the list.  I first heard of it in Noel Piper's chapter about Sarah Edwards in her (also highly recommended book), Faithful Women and their Extraordinary God.

Despite the odd title, the marriage of Jonathan and Sarah Edwards was one that we can all learn from.  Through this book, I came to love Sarah Edwards.  She became one of my unsung heroes of the faith.  For I am convinced, without Sarah there would not have been the Jonathan Edwards of history.

It reads less like a biography and more like someone telling a story about a family they knew.  Even if that knowledge came through research.  This book, like Marsden's but in a different way, also opens the reader to the world of America before that little incident about the tea and Boston and the harbor and all that.

I first read this book through my library and then I was able to find an older hardback copy on Amazon a number of years ago.  I kept the paperback version on my Wish List and when finally there was one reasonably priced, I bought it and sent the hardback copy to my daughter so she could have it in her home library.  It is that good.

If all you know about Edwards is his famous (infamous) sermon called Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God... there is oh so much more to this man than that.  It is somewhat ironic that he is known in our times for that sermon for he wrote much more about the Beauty that is God.

* A Short Life of Jonathan Edwards... here.
* Jonathan Edwards, a Life... here.
* Marriage to a Difficult Man... here.
* Faithful Women and Their Extraordinary God... here.

Also good but a little on the theological side:
* God's Passion For His Glory by John Piper... here

*Most links to Amazon on this blog are Associate Links.  I thank you.


Rebecca said...

Really sorry to hear about your husband's episode. Thankful that it sounds like it is subsiding.

I'm still trying to understand this sentence from your prior post: "I would suggest getting the book in paperback so it is easier to go back and forth when reading." Can you help. I don't understand what I might "go back and forth" from and how a paperback would help.....

I DO intend to read one of these books about Edwards. I frequently refer to his self-evaluation/resolution questions to take stock of myself. Stern, but helpful.

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

I've heard you speak of both of these books and have I read them yet? No. I need too, I think. I love history and biographies.

So glad that your hubby is better. Lindsay has a virus too, not pleasant.

Have a wonderful weekend! I can't wait to hear what the baby is going to be! Exciting!

Carol said...

I am praying for both of you. (MD)