Jonathan Edwards: Revivalist Preacher and Philosopher
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Jonathan Edwards has been known as one of the most influential people of his time. He changed the way people thought, the way people believed, and the way people worshiped. He had thousands of listeners who hung on his every word, letting him mold them into new thinkers and believers. He mixed the old ways of believing with the new and came up with a way of preaching all of his own.
Jonathan Edwards was born on October 5, 1703, in East Windsor, Connecticut to Timothy Edwards, his father, and Esther Edwards, his mother. He was part of a family full of prominent congregational ministers, like his father, and was a brother to ten sisters. In 1716, when Jonathan was not even thirteen yet, he was admitted into Yale University, where he graduated as the Valedictorian of his class in 1720. Edwards studied Newton, Locke, Malebranche, and the Cambridge Platonists which impacted Edwards’ studies and views profoundly. He later returned to Yale to receive a Masters degree in art, which he finished in 1724. That same year, he became a senior tutor. In such a short time and such a young age, Edwards achieved many impeccably successful things. He was what we would call today, a child prodigy.
After achieving his education, a church in Northampton chose Edwards to succeed his grandfather, Solomon Stoddard, who was the pastor there. Solomon had gained himself a reputation by being willing to admit and confess all of his scandalous doings to communion. He did this in the hope that it would provoke a conversation between the other members of the church and in doing so, he blatantly ignored and rejected the traditions set by the church. He ignored the notion that the center of the church was made up only of saints who were ab...
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... bring to the table and changed the lives of others. He changed the way that people worshiped the Lord, the way they thought, and even their views. Edwards developed his own way of preaching by integrating new thinking of Newton and Locke into the traditional Puritan divinity. He greatly changed the world then which, in turn, changed into the world we live in today.
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