In this book-report we review both George M. Marsden’s Jonathan Edwards A Life and Iain H. Murray’s Jonathan Edwards – A New Biography. George M. Marsden (born February 25, 1939) is an historian who has written extensively on the interaction between Christianity and American culture, particularly on Christianity in American higher education and on American Evangelicalism. He attended Haverford College, Westminster Theological Seminary, and Yale University, finishing with a Ph.D. in American history under Professor Sydney Ahlstrom. He taught at Calvin College (1965-1986), Duke Divinity School (1986-1992), and as Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History at The University of Notre Dame (1992-2008).
Iain H. Murray, born in Lancashire, England, in 1931, educated on the Isle of Man and at the University of Durham, entered the Christian ministry in 1955. He served as assistant to Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones at the Westminster Chapel during 1956-59. Following Murray ministered in London and Sydney. In 1957 he became a full-time worker and a co-founder of the Banner of Truth Trust, of which he still is a trustee.
I must admit to compare both books of these two great authors was not an easy job. Because while reading one may fall in the pit of judgment, who is right and who is wrong? In doing so we easily could conclude to prefer one author to the other, forgetting what we red.
This review will not judge both books; rather it will compare the books as a compliment to one another. The intention of this review is to highlight some aspects of Edwards’s life, in his religious, private, and theological sphere. Thus doing we focus under the guidance of the thesis Complementary Biographies on the selected issues of Edwards’s lif...
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...o us the Edwards like he was known by his contemporaries and is sometimes sympathetic to the situation. In the introduction Murray says that we fail to understand Edwards aright until the record of his life begins in our souls an impression of the communion with Christ, the subordination of our reason to divine authority, and an adoration of the Holy Spirit. Murray’s goal is not only to reintroduce Edwards to the reader but to introduce the reader to Edwards’ God. In my opinion Murray was successful in his attempt.
Both authors have reached their in portraying Edwards to the reader in his daily life. Both authors reached their goal Marsden with an emphasis on the anthropological, philosophical realm, while Murray had a stronger emphasis on the divine, Scriptural sphere. However both books are highly recommended and they must be read a complement to each other.
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