Jonathan Edwards and the Bible, by Robert E. Brown

Robert Brown's splendid book may disillusion theological admirers of Jonathan Edwards. Those who prize Edwards's exultant expressions of the beauty of God's holiness may well find Brown's portrait of him as a polemicist preoccupied with the factual reliability of the scriptures unpalatable. Brown, a visiting professor of American religion at Franklin and Marshall College, makes a persuasive, well-documented case for the increasing impact that critical historical thought had on Edwards's understanding of scripture. By the end of his life, Brown argues, Edwards was convinced that establishing the religious authenticity of biblical narratives required more than typological interpretations: "These stories had to be explained historically as well, and justified according to critical notions of authentic history."

 

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