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Book: Jonathan Edwards

Today’s Book is brought to you by Reformation Heritage Books through Cross-Focused Reviews.

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It’s a book! With a kid, looking at a spider…creepy.

Simonetta Carr’s books take up six spaces on the shelves here at our house. We’re slowly acquiring all of the Christian Biographies for Young Readers series, so when I was offered a review copy of Jonathan Edwards, I snagged it. Yes, I come with a bias toward this series. I have liked all the volumes, and would be surprised to not like this one.

I was not surprised. Jonathan Edwards presents a rounded picture of Edwards, giving him a human face instead of just an angry preacher face. If anything, this work comes out just shy of making Edwards out as too nice. Brevity is part of the series, though, so one cannot expect all of the details of Edwards’ life to be presented. Further, the goal is to present people that can be looked up to, and Edwards certainly fits that category.

The writing style is smooth. Carr does not use excessively long sentences, nor does she use words that are outside of the vocabulary of most middle school students. This is a remarkable achievement in writing about one of America’s foremost theologians, but she brings it to bear smoothly.

While above I note that Edwards is presented nicely, difficulty is not avoided in this biography. The matters of war, disease, and tragedy are dealt with plainly. David Brainerd’s life and death, and Edwards’ daughter Jerusha’s death that followed, are discussed. So, too, is the dismissal of Edwards from Northampton Church.

All told, the text alone is a valuable introduction to Edwards’ life. Adding the full color pictures—already on a light tan page background—and the book comes alive. Matt Abraxas has illustrated the work well, and the photos of locations and artifacts supplement his artwork well. Tom Carroll’s maps bring the locations into focus, and the combined product is worth putting on the shelf.

This is a sturdy hardcover, with stronger-than-average pages. Think magazine-type glossy, but the strength of a magazine cover without being quite as heavy. You will get your money’s worth, as you will have a book that lasts.

And you’ll learn things about Edwards you never knew…like his interest in science, or that he was reading Isaac Newton’s works almost as soon as they came out. That’s right, Newton was older and working in England at the same time Edwards was a student in college. I never put that together until reading this book.

I heartily recommend this as an introduction to Jonathan Edwards.

I did, indeed, receive a review copy in exchange for this review. Had I bought it, I would hold the same opinion but never would have gotten around to sharing it.

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