Wednesday, October 15, 2014

So much more than "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God"

A review of Simonetta Carr's Jonathan Edwards in her Christian Biographies for Young Readers series.

My first introduction to Jonathan Edwards was his sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” My high school literature textbook did not really present him in the most positive light. Because of this, I was a little hesitant to read the copy of Edwards’ Resolutions that I received as a graduation present a couple years later. The book sat on my shelf for a year or so before I finally opened it up and discovered someone who was not the stodgy, self-righteous preacher my English class made him out to be. Now that I’ve read a little more about him, and have been through his excellent book The Religious Affections, I realize just how much I could have benefitted from Simonetta Carr’s latest entry in her Christian Biographies for Young Readers series when I was in middle school.

Edwards was a fascinating and highly intelligent person. He operated out of conviction and proved himself both as a churchman and as an educator. His years of service as a missionary among the Mohawk and Mohican tribes tells of his desire to see all people come to saving faith in Christ.

Simonetta Carr has a rare ability to tell an interesting story. Edwards is particularly interesting, yes, but she first gives her readers a picture of his childhood, of his exploits as a nine-year-old, a picture that draws in younger readers and tells them, “Hey, you would have liked to play with this guy when he was a kid. Keep reading to see what he did because you could have a story like his someday.”

These books can be read in one sitting, or parents can set aside a time each day or each week to go over a chapter with their kids and make it a shared experience. My three-year-old daughter likes to look at the pictures of these books and I get to summarize the story for her. The drawings and pictures are so attention-grabbing that it can draw in someone like my daughter who isn’t even old enough to listen to Daddy read it to her. Older kids will be equally drawn in.

I received this book from the publisher for the purpose of review. The opinions expressed are my own.

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