Quite possibly, one of the most important books ever written by the greatest American theologian. Some of the questions asked are "What is the nature of true religion? What are the signs of a true revival? How is the heart changed? Edwards used his pulpit and his leadership of the Great Awakening to pen one of the most challenging and inquisitive books written.More
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The density and balance of Edward's thought stuck me as both beautiful and challenging. As an Anglican reader I found his Biblical fidelity deeply satisfying with very few cited passages on which I might question his approach. In other words, there was a time or two in which I thought his theology or his present purpose might have skewed his understanding of the text rather than having the text support that purpose or theological tack, but none so egregious that specifics come to mind.
He speaks very clearly and captured very well what seemed to be Edward's sentiments in the subtleties of his inflection.
Frankly, the Puritans (and their progeny) are a difficult read for those in our culture who are accustomed to sound bites and 30-second blasts of information. Following the lines of reason can be arduous as Edwards has no problem developing a matter from his or someone else's standpoint for several minutes at a time. While Vance is superbly clear, his quick cadence mixed with the density of the material, not to mention his U.K. accent (I'm a New Englander living in the Mid-Atlantic US) made it so that it took me nearly half of the work to really get into the presentation as a whole. I love Vance in Chesterton's Orthodoxy, though. I attribute my difficulty more to the material than the read, but a slower pace seems like it would have made the product a little more accessible.
- J. M. Forsberg