In a world racked by the clash of European powers, Jonathan Edwards, one of the most extraordinary theologian-pastors the history of Christianity, sought to express by means of the spoken word and printed text his vision of the glory of God, sovereign over this world's empires, and its practical implications for humanity. The pursuit of this calling was an instrumental factor in the revivals that reshaped the American spiritual landscape. Throughout all the changes of his life was his beautiful relationship with his wife Sarah, a model of Puritan marital piety and the hidden spring of much of his usefulness as a preacher and theologian.
About the Authors:
Dr. Michael A. G. Haykin is Professor of Church History & Biblical Spirituality at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, & Director of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a Research Professor of the Irish Baptist College at Queen’s University, Belfast, N. Ireland. He & his wife, Alison, & two children, live in Dundas, Ontario. They attend West Highland Baptist Church in Hamilton, Ontario.
Ronald Baines was born in Western Massachusetts almost halfway between Northampton and Stockbridge. He has been in pastoral ministry for over twenty years & is currently pastor of Grace Reformed Baptist Church, in Topsham, Maine & a PhD candidate at the University of Maine. He resides in Brunswick, Maine. He & his wife Joan, who is descended from Edwards’ eldest daughter Sarah, have four children.
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Edwards attended college in what would become Yale & received his BA in 1720. He took up his first pastorate in New York at the age of 19. He achieved his Master's degree on the thesis of justification by faith alone. In 1724 he became a tutor at Yale. Then he went as assistant to his grandfather in Massachusetts, & was ordained as full-time pastor on the death of his grandfather, Solomon Stoddard. Northampton is described as being 'on the edge of British civilisation'. Edwards' sermons were very effective. It is said that a quarter of the people in the town were converted. Revival came in 1740-1742. There were some critics & Edwards wrote two books defending the revival, & a third, A treatise concerning the religious affections. This has 'been considered one of the richest books on Christian spirituality in the history of the church'. In 1750 Edwards was dismissed from the church. He soon accepted a call to a mission station at Stockbridge - on the edge of the frontier. He said:'We are in the hands of God & I bless him.' He preached to the Mohawk Indians & his published works from this period show 'he was able to communicate plainly & effectively in his new evangelistic sphere.' His theological position is made clear in his book on The freedom of the will. In 1758 he became president of Princeton; the same year he was inoculated for smallpox & died from complications - so ended the life of this great Christian man. Grace Magazine March 2014 Eileen Appleby(4/5star)