Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Finishing Marsden on Edwards; Dallimore on Whitefield Next

Last week I finished Marsden's bio of Jonathan Edwards. It was a terrific read. It reminded me of why I so admire Jonathan Edwards, warts and all. For those interested in finding out more about Edwards, the Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University (the folks who produce the definitive scholarly collection of JE's works and house a good number of his manuscripts) has a blog you might be interested in.

Because I enjoyed Marsden's JE so much, I have decided to now work my way through George Whitefield by Arnold Dallimore (vol. 1 and vol. 2). As a contemporary and admirer of Edwards, Whitefield shared a similar passion for the advance of the gospel and was key figure in the Great Awakening both here in the United States and also in England. My wife read through both volumes last year and loved them. (For those paying attention, you'll note that I am trying to catch up to my wife in the area of reading biographies; she is currently reading vol. 1 of the biography on Martin Lloyd-Jones).

Have any of you read Dallimore on Whitefield? If so, what were your impressions?

3 comments:

Jeff Brewer said...

Matt,
I just finished the second vol. of Lloyd-Jones last month- they were both excellent- a must read for every pastor.

Matt Harmon said...

Jeff,

I think our good friend Paul Alexander just recently finished vol. 2 of LLoyd-Jones as well. I can't keep up with all of you ;-)

Dane Ortlund said...

Reading Dallimore's bio of GW was critical in my own sense of call into vocational ministry in 2002. It is the best biography I've ever read (though I haven't read tons). GW comes alive, and the Lord's grace in his life, fueling the biblical study he did early on and steadying his zeal in the face of such outrageous success and fame, is astonishing. Dallimore draws on journals of GW that had never before been touched, which open up the hidden aspects of W's life in a new way. And I found the thesis that W was more the founder of Methodism than Wesley, who still got the label in history due to his admin. genius, fascinating.

I too enjoyed Marsden's bio of JE, though I found Murray's more thorough interaction with and promotion of JE's theology more enjoyable (in the inspiring sense) to read than Marsden's more objective account. But Marsden is a pure historian, Murray more a historian-theologian.