Thursday, September 24, 2009

Book Review of Jonathan Edwards' Biography

I have been reading some biographies lately, hoping to learn more about godly men and women who did great things for the Lord. I finished A Divine Light: The Spiritual Leadership of Jonathan Edwards by David Vaughan yesterday, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Before I get into it, I would like to reiterate that I really like this series of books, Leaders in Action. The biographies are concise but written by Christians who understand their subjects much better than people who are not Christians. Honestly, I have to admit that I do not like to read books about Christians by authors who are not Christians because they just don't get it.

I found this biography of Jonathan Edwards to be inspiring. He spent twelve to thirteen hours a day studying his Bible and praying. Of course, he was a pastor and was paid to study God's Word, but he did all of this without neglecting his family or his flock. The works he produced and the theology they contain are awe-inspiring. Of course, I haven't read all of his works (or even very many), but I would like to start perusing some. There is a tremendous amount of information that could be gleaned from his works.

One of the things that struck me the most was his devotion to duty. Here is his Resolution 57: "Resolved, never to do anything but duty; and then according to Eph. 6:6-8, do it willingly and cheerfully as unto the Lord, and not to man; knowing that whatever good thing any man doth, the same shall he receive of the Lord." Duty has become almost a bad word in our culture: you have to do your duty whether or not you want to. It was not that way with Edwards. Duty was what you were supposed to do, yes, but you should do it willingly and cheerfully because it is God who requires it of you.

Another point that Edwards made that I appreciated was our sin. Sin is not something that we talk much about these days, and I think that is a bad thing. Without a recognition of our sin and how bad it is, we do not realize how holy God is. Without knowing how holy God is, we do not realize how much we need His mercy and His grace. This ignorance can lead to our taking for granted how much Jesus did for us on the cross.

If you are looking for something to inspire you to study Scripture more, you ought to read something about Jonathan Edwards. I recommend this book, specifically.

By the way, I am looking for another good biography to read; do you have any suggestions? Thanks!

1 comment:

MyKidsMom said...

Excellent review Nikki. I'll have to check out this series.