Book review by Nathan A. Finn, The Gospel Coalition
Of the writing of books about Jonathan Edwards there is no end. Scholars have focused their attention on aspects of the 18th-century pastor’s theology, philosophy, ethics, or role in interpreting and promoting revival. Popular writers have tended to emphasize the latter or Edwards’s Calvinism. Some evangelical authors have commended him as a spiritual role model, notably Iain Murray, R. C. Sproul, Sam Storms, Steve Lawson, Michael Haykin, Josh Moody, and especially John Piper. However, until recently, few scholars had given sustained attention to Edwards’s spirituality. That is beginning to change.
In the past decade or so, numerous evangelicals have written essay-length studies of Edwards’s spiritual thought ranging from technical scholarship to pastoral application.
Since 2010, Sean Lucas and Kyle Strobel have written books devoted to Edwardsean spirituality. Strobel is currently preparing a scholarly anthology of Edwards’s spiritual writings with Ken Minkema and Adriaan Neele of the Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University. Haykin has edited a more popular anthology that focuses on Edwards’s correspondence. Dane Ortlund’s new book, Edwards on the Christian Life: Alive to the Beauty of God, which is part of Crossway’s warmly received Theologians of the Christian Life series, arrives in a milieu where Edwardsean spirituality is being studied and retrieved by scholars and ministers alike.