Presentation on theme: "CHURCH HISTORY II Lesson 23 The Life of Jonathan Edwards."— Presentation transcript:
CHURCH HISTORY II Lesson 23 The Life of Jonathan Edwards
Jonathan Edwards “No man is more relevant to the present condition of Christianity than Jonathan Edwards.... He was a mighty theologian and a great evangelist at the same time.... He was pre-eminently the theologian of revival. If you want to know anything about true revival, Edwards is the man to consult.” D. Martin Lloyd-Jones “The history of religious revival proves that all real, spiritual awakenings of the national mind have been those in which God and not man, has been the prime mover.” Octavius Winslow
Apostolic Church Apostolic Fathers Church Councils Church History Ca. 30AD590 AD1517 AD Golden Age of Church Fathers Reformation & Counter Reformation Rationalism, Revivalism, & Denominationalism Revivalism, Missions, & Modernism ? Ancient Church HistoryMedieval Church HistoryModern Church History The Pre-Reformers The First Medieval Pope The Rise of the Holy Rom Emp The Crusades The Papacy in Decline
Why so little about J. Edwards? Recent History No Political/State Involvement No Church Break Secular Historians Can’t Understand His Significance Reformed Theology Not Vogue Oliver Wendell Holmes – “If Edwards had lived a hundred years later and breathed the air of freedom, he could not have written with such old-world barbarism as we find in his volcanic sermons” Henry B. Parkes (1930) – “As a religious figure, his is the greatness of religious ‘tragedy’ being that even for the greatest intellect in the history of American Christianity, his inherited Calvinistic beliefs were too strong for him to overcome.” Ola Winslow – viewed Edwards as a prisoner in an outworn, obsolete theological system – “his bondage seems almost a tragic pity.” Herbert Schneider – “His philosophical insight was buried under the ruins of his religion. He failed to see the futility of insisting on the Puritan principles.” Perry Miller – “The life of Edwards is a tragedy.... Because of his faith Edwards wrought incalculable harm.”
When did Jonathan Edwards Live? 1607Jamestown established 1621First Thanksgiving, Plymouth, Mass. 16303,000 colonist live in VA; 300 in Mass. 1680William Penn receives charter for PA 1700Boston, Mass. Has 7,000 people New York Has 6,000 people 1732 George Washington Born 1743 Thomas Jefferson Born 1706 Benjamin Franklin Born
An Overview of the Life of Jonathan Edwards Age 1703Jonathan Edwards born
Jonathan Edward’s Family Tree Solomon Stoddard = Esther Wareham 12 Children Rev. Timothy Edwards = Esther Stoddard Jonathan Edwards = Sarah Pierrepont b - October 5, 1703 d - March 22, 1758 11 Children – 10 girls, 1 boy 11 Children – 3 boys, 8 girls
Age 1703Jonathan Edwards is born 1716Enters Yale 1722Called to Pastor in NY – Presby. Congregation 1721Converted** 1724Tutor’s at Yale Briefly 1727Marries Sarah Pierrepont 1726Assoc. Minister @ Northampton w/ Grandfather Solomon Stoddard 1734Revival Breaks Out 1729Becomes Full Pastor at Northampton 13 18 19 21 23 24 26 31 1737Edwards Defends the Revival 34 17401 st Great Awakening 1750Dismissed as Pastor @ Northampton 37 47 An Overview of the Life of Jonathan Edwards
Jonathan Edwards dismissal from Northampton Book Incident Salary Issue Admission to the Lord’s Table Ungodly membership & family loyalty Results of His Dismissal Opportunity to write Missionary Outreach & Emphasis
Age 1703Jonathan Edwards is born 1716Enters Yale 1722Called to Pastor in NY – Presby. Congregation 1721Converted 1724Tutor’s at Yale Briefly 1727Marries Sarah Pierrepont 1726Assoc. Minister @ Northampton w/ Grandfather Solomon Stoddard 1734Revival Breaks Out 1729Becomes Full Pastor at Northampton 1758Accepts Presidency of the College of N.J. 13 18 19 21 23 24 26 17401 st Great Awakening 1750Dismissed as Pastor @ Northampton 1737Edwards Defends the Revival 1751Called to Stockbridge – Pastor/Missionary 31 34 37 47 48 55 An Overview of the Life of Jonathan Edwards
Jonathan Edwards -The Man Wife - Sarah 3 sons – all graduated from Princeton 8 daughters – 3 daughters married Yale graduates, one was Burr, another Timothy Dwight fore bearer of 3 Yale presidents Parsonage Well ordered Sarah ran most of domestic duties Often Jonathan would miss a meal because of studies Numerous visitors Aloofness/distance/reflective Constantly making notes from his thoughts – during his writing period he was able to draw from these thoughts Gracious, but not gregarious The only son of eleven children Entered Yale at the age of 13 and graduated the head of his class She was criticized by some for being too fashionable
Jonathan Edwards -The Pastor Study - “13 hours a day in the study” His primary focus was the Lord’s day 2 sermons on Sunday, 1 on Thursday Personal communion with God must come first Sermon Manuscripts Written word for word – reading sermons? Outlines Edward did not visit his congregation unless requested He did encourage visits into home/study Sermon Delivery
Unconverted Newly Converted Northampton Stockbridge Ministry The Writings of Jonathan Edwards 1719Of Insects 1721Of the Rainbow Of Light Rays Natural Philosophy Of Atoms Of Being 1722Resolutions Diary Miscellanies 1738A Faithful Narrative of the Surprising Work of God 1741The Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God 1746Some Thoughts Concerning Religious Affections 1754A Careful & Strict Inquiry into the Modern Prevailing Notions of that Freedom of Will The Great Doctrine of Original Sin Defended The End for Which God Created the World
1720’s - The Middle Colonies 1730’s – The New England Colonies 1740 – 1750’s – The Southern Colonies The Great Awakening 1730-40’s The Great Awakening was a glorious work of God whereby He caused a period of intense spiritual revival and conversions that enlarged the church with true members and quickened them to Christian duty. George Whitfield – common link between Great Britain and Colonial Revivals.
Opposition to the Great Awakening 1741 – “The Distinguishing Marks of a work of the Spirit God, Applied to that uncommon Operation that has lately appeared on the Minds of many of the People of New England”. Sermon given at Yale 1742 – Some Thoughts Concerning the Present Revival of Religion in New England, in 1742. 378 page book May 1743 – 400 ministers convened in Boston to debate the validity of the recent revival – they publish a list of “errors and disorders” & denied that a true revival has occurred. July 1743 – a Counter Convention is called to affirm revival Why this dissension & split? Old Lights vs. New Lights
“Old Lights” who were anti-revival, alienated by the “New Light” criticism. Held to a cold, rational approach, to religion. With the new “Age of Reason”, they rejected Calvinism & particularly the doctrine of total depravity & God’s sovereign role in salvation. They opposed the supernaturalism, the emotionalism and the radicalism of the revival. 1. They were offended by the “new” type of preaching. 2. They opposed experimental religion. 4. There was a great dislike to the historic Calvinism which was gaining strength thru the Great Awakening. 3. The Great Awakening brought a revived orthodoxy into collision with ideas which had been slowly replacing it. “Old Light” reaction was so strong against the revivals that by mid century the Congregational churches were no longer a potent influence in New Eng.
“New Lights” were pro-revival and had sharp words for those opposing the Great Awakening. Tennent – “The body of the clergy were as great strangers to the feeling experience of the new birth as Nicodemus who talked like a fool about it. Isn’t this the reason why a work of conviction and conversion has been so rarely heard of, for a long time, in the churches, till of late, viz. That the bulk of her spiritual guides were stone-blind and stoned-dead.” He also stated that all were Pharisees, hypocrites, carnal unregenerate wretches, both ministers and people, who do not think just as I do, particularly as to the Doctrines of Calvinism. Whitfield said that, “Many, nay most that preach (in Conn & Mass) I fear, do not experimentally know Christ, yet I cannot see much worldly advantage to tempt them to take up the sacred function.”
Radicals – James Davenport who preached long, unprepared, ranting discourses in which he attacked many leading ministers as being unconverted. Was able to capitalize on the emotions for popularity. Edwards believed that the revival did not continue because friends of the revival began to focus on carnal ‘enthusiasm’ and God was grieved. Zeal became too fervent – visions, revelations, and strong impressions. Sudden physical collapses, outcries, and swoonings. To many noise, excitement and spiritual power were all one. 1746 – A Treatise Concerning the Religious Affections
Jonathan Edwards: His Contributions Preacher Revivalist Missionary Theologian
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