Review: Jonathan Edwards for Young Readers

There is a list of theologians I want my children to know growing up. Among those near the top, names like Owen, Warfield, Calvin, Vos, and Whitefield, there lies the name of Edwards. Scholarly writing abounds on Jonathan Edwards, which I greatly appreciate, but there seems to be almost nothing to make accessible this man to young readers. Apart from lugging the two heavy volumes of his works off my shelf and going through them with my family, I find it hard to teach my young ones about the influence Edwards had on generations of godly men and women. Simonetta Carr has done the heavy lifting for me in a new addition to her Biographies for Young Readers titled, Jonathan Edwards – Christian Biographies for Young Readers.

Many consider Jonathan Edwards to be the greatest minds that America has produced. Some would even say that Edwards tops the list of most influential puritans, to which I say they’ve never read Owen. Of the many things Edwards is known for, the first great awakening, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, and others, he was a devout family man and understood that he was responsible for training his children up in the way they should go. As much as I aspire to be like Edwards in my theology and thinking, I much more want to learn from him as a father shepherding the children God has entrusted to me.

Simonetta Carr does a wonderful job of making the life and thought of Edwards clear enough that when I sit down with my 4 year old daughter and read her this biography, she get’s it. There are few things better than seeing that glimpse in your children when they begin to understand that there were men and women who went before them as godly representatives in this world. The language is clear, the research is spot on, and the illustrations stir the imagination. What more could one ask for in a biography for young readers? Simonetta has hit the nail on the head with this one and has spurred me on towards the other biographies in her series which I plan on sharing with my little ones over and over again.

Carr, S. (2014). Jonathan Edwards – Christian Biographies for Young Readers (p. 64). Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books.

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