One nice feature of the holiday break is the opportunity to read. This week I have been reading Jonathan Edwards: A Life by George Marsden. I have had this volume on my shelf since its publication in 2003, but simply have not had time to read it. But my wife had read it, and continually (but always lovingly) encouraged me to read it.
At the time of writing this post, I am about 340 pages into it (of a total 500 some pages), and it is tremendous. Marsden writes clearly and engagingly, bringing Edwards to life in 3D vividness. I have always loved Edwards, and Marsden’s portrait has reminded me once again why Edwards is such an impressive figure. Yet Marsden does not gloss over Edwards’ own flaws and shortcomings, but mentions them from a sympathetic perspective. Also helpful is Marsden’s ability to place JE within his historical, cultural, and social context so that we may better appreciate Edwards.
I have been most struck by Edwards’ relentless infatuation with the beauty and glory of Christ as revealed int he gospel. This infatuation is all the more interesting in light of his own battles with “melancholy” (i.e., depression). What an encouragement to all of us who battle the occasional (or sometimes more than occasional) bouts of spiritual dryness and depression.
Have you read Marsden on Edwards? If so, what were your thoughts?