Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) was an American theologian, philosopher, pastor and scientist who was considered by many to be the greatest mind in American history.
I knew nothing about him until last year. I can’t remember what kicked off my interest in him exactly, but I’m so blessed from my studies of the man and his theology. I suspect there are many like me who know very little about Jonathan Edwards, so it’s my hope that this post will serve as an introduction for the uninitiated. For those who are already familiar with Edwards, maybe you will be blessed with some of the resources I’ve posted below.
My first introduction to Edwards was the sermon, “God Glorified in Man’s Dependance“ which was full of solid exegesis, deep thinking, and devotional application. I then read his sermon, “The Excellency of Christ” and it even surpassed the first. Due to their shorter length I’d recommend either to any interested readers as a good starting point.
Moving on from there, I read his “A Dissertation Concerning the End for Which God Created the World“. This work was life-changing for me as it opened my eyes to the LORD and His Word in new ways and revealed how everything is about God (and how that’s good news). It is a difficult work but I’d recommend it as essential reading for those who love studying theology. John Piper, Jim Hamilton, Tom Schreiner and many others have all been impacted heavily by this work and it can be seen in their writings and sermons.
I’m currently working my way through an audiobook of “A Short Life of Jonathan Edwards” by George Marsden. His longer biography on Edwards (Jonathan Edwards: A Life) is considered the best (or perhaps tied with Iain Murray’s Jonathan Edwards: A New Biography). I have not yet read much else by Edwards, but his most famous and essential writings can be found (for free!) in the two-volume Works of Jonathan Edwards on CCEL.
Jonathan Edwards Resources
I’ve put together a list of resources I’ve found useful. All are free unless indicated by $/£:
- The Works of Jonathan Edwards: Volume 1 (pdf or online)
- The Works of Jonathan Edwards: Volume 2 (pdf or online)
- Collection of Works of Jonathan Edwards for Kindle ($/£) on Amazon (UK and USA). This is by far the best version of Edward’s for the Kindle as it has indexed chapters and is properly formatted without errors, so it’s worth the small cost. In fact, I got a Kindle primarily so that I could read Edwards and it turns out cheaper than tracking down his works in print.
- A Desiring God conference on Jonathan Edwards
- Desiring God resources on Jonathan Edwards
- A great summary of Jonathan Edwards
- Little-known facts on Edwards
- The Jonathan Edwards Centre at Yale University
- Jonathan Edwards Kindle Wallpaper. Right-click to save.
If Edwards has impacted you at all, please let me know in the comments. Also feel free to share any Jonathan Edwards resources you have come across.