Jonathan Edwards could arguably be called America’s greatest theologian. His ministry in eighteenth-century New England was one of the chief means that the Spirit of God used to spark revivals in Northampton and the surrounding area – and eventually what is known as the Great Awakening. These sweeping revivals brought many souls to Christ and Edwards’ ongoing ministry and extensive writings continued to have an impact on many others, both in America and throughout Europe.
Edwards wrote prolifically on many topics, from theology to creation and philosophy, but it is his writings on the Holy Spirit and revival that are some of his finest and most insightful. Responding to excesses and criticism during his own day, Edwards wrote very poignantly about both the reality and scope of the Spirit’s work – something he had seen first-hand – and also the dangers associated with times of genuine revival.
Michael Haykin’s study of Jonathan Edwards is interwoven with an acute understanding of both the primary texts – such as Edwards’ landmark study of Christian spirituality, The Religious Affections – and the historical context. Drawing on both of these, he presents a detailed analysis of the shape and content of Edwards’ theology, including an examination of his wife’s experience of revival and his daughter’s reflection on it. Jonathan Edwards had a heart devoted to the pursuit of the glory of God and this volume reflects something of that passion.
Table of Contents:
Appendix 1: Jonathan Edwards, Directions for judging of persons’ experiences
Appendix 2: Beauty as a divine attribute: The western tradition and Jonathan Edwards
Appendix 3: Esther Edwards Burr (1732-1758) and Edwardsean piety
Michael A. G. Haykin (ThD, University of Toronto) is professor of church history and biblical spirituality at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and director of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies. He has authored or edited more than twenty-five books.
“Michael Haykin’s Jonathan Edwards: The Holy Spirit in Revival is to be welcomed. Learned, judicious, clear and accessible, Haykin paints a sympathetic, appreciative and instructive portrait of Edwards’ teaching in this important locus.” – Dr. Ligon Duncan