Jonathan Edwards Essay

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Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) is widely recognized as one of America’s most profound Theologians. Some might even consider him the master of Puritan revival, since he was the leader of the Great Awakening. During his time he was a devout Calvinist who had the power of single-handedly keeping the Puritan faith strong for over twenty-five years, by using vivid imagery to provoke his audience. Edward's dialect was exquisitely influential and yet wielded with class and ease. This essay argues that Edwards was a prestigious theologian in his time that helped shape modern religious culture. From an early stage Edwards was influenced by his family tremendously. “As the only boy, he was the center of attention. From early years his parents…show more content…
To Stoddard, the idea of “fostering conversions was more important than discovering a perfect church order, and in that attitude he blazed the way for the most influential practice in American religious history: he was the first American to make periodic revivals a centerpiece of his ministry” . Every decade his congregation would experience an “awakening” in which many people were moved spiritually and often lead to conversion. Some of these revivals even made it past Northampton and into the neighboring communities, directly impacting young Edwards and his family, for Edwards’s father rejected the half-way covenant but endorsed revival. These disagreements divided his family and remained unresolved for decades . In 1726 Edwards moved to Northampton to help his grandfather as assistant pastor, “he was probably more inclined to agree with the stricter views of his father rather than with his grandfather’s more open policy regarding communicant membership, but for the time being, an agreement to disagree seems to have prevailed” . When Solomon Stoddard died in February 1729, Edwards assumed full responsibility of the congregation. With the inheritance of the congregation came considerable expectations, considering Northampton regarded Solomon as a sort of deity. “New England’s occasional awakenings and other efforts to revive piety were part of an international ‘pietist’ movement” .
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