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Jonathan Edwards: America's Genius

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Jonathan Edwards was just an ordinary American boy but he was different too. The country he lived in wasn't the America of today - but a new world full of adventure and opportunity. Battles and Tomahawks were just some of the thrilling adventures that his family lived through. But Jonathan also loved the small things in life too. In an age of scientific discovery, Edwards s Jonathan Edwards was just an ordinary American boy but he was different too. The country he lived in wasn't the America of today - but a new world full of adventure and opportunity. Battles and Tomahawks were just some of the thrilling adventures that his family lived through. But Jonathan also loved the small things in life too. In an age of scientific discovery, Edwards saw God's beauty displayed most perfectly through nature. His journals are filled with drawings of plants, animals, and spiders because he knew that each one of them reflected the creativity of its Creator. His mind was full of questions and he grappled for the answers. Intellectually there were few to beat him. However it wasn't just his amazing intelligence that set him apart from other boys his age - he may have had a thirst for knowledge but he also had a strong desire for the things of God. His genius and abilities teamed up well with his faith and love for the Lord Jesus Christ. One day the country that would become the United States of America would look back at this man of brilliance as a founding influence on their land.


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Jonathan Edwards was just an ordinary American boy but he was different too. The country he lived in wasn't the America of today - but a new world full of adventure and opportunity. Battles and Tomahawks were just some of the thrilling adventures that his family lived through. But Jonathan also loved the small things in life too. In an age of scientific discovery, Edwards s Jonathan Edwards was just an ordinary American boy but he was different too. The country he lived in wasn't the America of today - but a new world full of adventure and opportunity. Battles and Tomahawks were just some of the thrilling adventures that his family lived through. But Jonathan also loved the small things in life too. In an age of scientific discovery, Edwards saw God's beauty displayed most perfectly through nature. His journals are filled with drawings of plants, animals, and spiders because he knew that each one of them reflected the creativity of its Creator. His mind was full of questions and he grappled for the answers. Intellectually there were few to beat him. However it wasn't just his amazing intelligence that set him apart from other boys his age - he may have had a thirst for knowledge but he also had a strong desire for the things of God. His genius and abilities teamed up well with his faith and love for the Lord Jesus Christ. One day the country that would become the United States of America would look back at this man of brilliance as a founding influence on their land.

30 review for Jonathan Edwards: America's Genius

  1. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Vellacott

    Audiobook version This was slightly bizarre to say the least. It was a little like listening to a Disney story. The narrative jumps around in the life of Jonathan Edwards from his early years to later life and then back again. There are whole chapters on his love of spiders as a boy next to his death from illness, then back to his decision to move locations for a new ministry. That said, it was entertaining and I'm sure there was truth mixed in. The dialogue was very unrealistic and Edwards is pr Audiobook version This was slightly bizarre to say the least. It was a little like listening to a Disney story. The narrative jumps around in the life of Jonathan Edwards from his early years to later life and then back again. There are whole chapters on his love of spiders as a boy next to his death from illness, then back to his decision to move locations for a new ministry. That said, it was entertaining and I'm sure there was truth mixed in. The dialogue was very unrealistic and Edwards is presented as an almost perfect man throughout. Might keep the children quiet for a few hours on a long car journey but other than that...…?

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jami Balmet

    A great book to read with older kids! I loved the high level overview of Edwards life and his emphasis on trusting so fully in the Lord! This is a fictionalized biography so they do take a lot of liberties with the details and stories and I was left wondering many times “hmm...I wonder what the real facts are here”? But overall it was a very engaging read and a great one for kids!!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    Well, this book does sort of provide an outline of Edwards's life, so I'll give it that. But with all the imaginative liberties the author took with dialogue, inner thoughts, and descriptive details, I'd classify this squarely in the category historical fiction—not biography or non-fiction. What's worse, however, is that the dialogue is so painfully anachronistic. The characters openly discuss their deep appreciation for Mohican culture and the Indians' connection with nature in way that sounds Well, this book does sort of provide an outline of Edwards's life, so I'll give it that. But with all the imaginative liberties the author took with dialogue, inner thoughts, and descriptive details, I'd classify this squarely in the category historical fiction—not biography or non-fiction. What's worse, however, is that the dialogue is so painfully anachronistic. The characters openly discuss their deep appreciation for Mohican culture and the Indians' connection with nature in way that sounds like it could have been pulled from a twentieth-century National Park Service guidebook to native peoples. And half the time, Edwards himself talks and prays with the diction and vocabulary of a modern evangelical preacher who just walked off the stage in a tight T-shirt and wireless headset. His prayers start with, "Father God..." (a phrase I've only ever heard in a modern evangelical church), and characters talk about "teenagers" (a word coined in the 1920s) who "accept Christ" or "rededicate their lives." Spiders also keep showing up at convenient, but not very believable, moments as a theme to tie the events of Edwards's life together. And all of these liberties might be fine if you're writing a novel. But don't pitch it to me as a biography. Even as historical fiction, it's awkwardly ahistorical. The transitions between chapters in Edwards's life are also abrupt and odd. The story jumps between scenes, sometimes across many years, with little explanation, leaving me scratching my head over what exactly happened to get us to the next episode. I know the author was writing this for kids, so it needed to be made intelligible to modern children. But the extensive liberties the author took, especially by putting words into the mouths of these eighteenth-century believers that they neither did nor would say, was really inexcusable. In fact, if this is meant to be taken as a true story, some those liberties might even be called lies.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Hicks

    I found this to be a very low resolution, incredibly cheesy introduction to Jonathan Edwards. Best part about this audiobook was that it was free. Perhaps I need to figure out who the audience is meant to be for this series, because it is not me. This might be a good intro for children into Jonathan Edwards life, because it’s so dramatized. Even then I’m not really sure.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Carol Arnold

    Spiders?!!! The great theologian, Jonathan Edwards, had an obsession with spiders? Maybe he did, but I find it hard to believe that he had such an obsession that his last words as he was dying were spoken to a spider! This is written as a children's book and I guess the author wanted to spark their interest, but spiders? Seriously? Ok, rant over! Other than that this was a fair introduction to Edwards. It was short and sweet! Spiders?!!! The great theologian, Jonathan Edwards, had an obsession with spiders? Maybe he did, but I find it hard to believe that he had such an obsession that his last words as he was dying were spoken to a spider! This is written as a children's book and I guess the author wanted to spark their interest, but spiders? Seriously? Ok, rant over! Other than that this was a fair introduction to Edwards. It was short and sweet!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy

    2.5 stars. Not a fan of the speculative dialogue. Introduction nature shows God's beauty started college at age 13 B. B. Warfield: Edwards stands alone as the great intellectual of colonial America Ch. 1: Sisters and Spiders 1711 father was a military chaplain; away in the war against Mohicans; returned because of an injury Ch. 2: Swamp Prayers prayer booth in woods; prayer journal loved Bunyan's Grace Abounding Ch. 3: Food Fight journal entry about helping a friend named Elisha who had betrayed him Ch. 4: D 2.5 stars. Not a fan of the speculative dialogue. Introduction nature shows God's beauty started college at age 13 B. B. Warfield: Edwards stands alone as the great intellectual of colonial America Ch. 1: Sisters and Spiders 1711 father was a military chaplain; away in the war against Mohicans; returned because of an injury Ch. 2: Swamp Prayers prayer booth in woods; prayer journal loved Bunyan's Grace Abounding Ch. 3: Food Fight journal entry about helping a friend named Elisha who had betrayed him Ch. 4: Dock Discipline 1723 New York and sin call to be a pastor sermon on discipline/laziness always used a transcript of his notes; never raised his voice Ch. 5: Cured by Sickness 1725 collapse in the woods Yale tutor Sarah Pierpont; proposal Calvinism Ch. 6: Judgment Day 1727 regularly got up at 4 a.m.; spent 13 hours in his study Ch. 7: Awakening 1741; revivals Franklin's experiment regarding Whitefield's voice (could be heard more than a mile away; 25,000 people could hear him) "Sinners in the hands of an angry God" Ch. 8: Last of the Mohicans 1751 forced out of church (disciplined boys in the church too harshly; house/hotel was too expensive) David Brainerd (missionary to Native Americans) Ch. 9: Transition Time 1758 call to be president at Princeton smallpox inoculation Ch. 10: Living Again 1758 wife not there when he died

  7. 5 out of 5

    Logan

    I really thought it was awful. Now that may be because I've read multiple biographies of Edwards, but this one played VERY fast and loose with the facts and made up lots of hypothetical incidents with Jonathan's childhood, courtship etc. Sara Pierpont was unknown to Jonathan's mother until she showed up on the doorstep? Jonathan forgot all about this young lady he'd been courting for two years due to a fall? Oh, and his "amazing" and "brilliant" answer to "who was John Calvin" is supposed to imp I really thought it was awful. Now that may be because I've read multiple biographies of Edwards, but this one played VERY fast and loose with the facts and made up lots of hypothetical incidents with Jonathan's childhood, courtship etc. Sara Pierpont was unknown to Jonathan's mother until she showed up on the doorstep? Jonathan forgot all about this young lady he'd been courting for two years due to a fall? Oh, and his "amazing" and "brilliant" answer to "who was John Calvin" is supposed to impress me? At no point did I feel as though "genius" came through. It feels as though the author read the Wikipedia article on Edwards and read "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" because according to this biography, Edwards was obsessed with spiders throughout his life and focused a lot on burning in hell. It was dramatized for children, but it just as well may have been fiction.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Hawkins

    As a disclaimer, this is the first audiobook I'm logging here onto Goodreads. I'm hesitant about doing so, because I do not think that listening to an audiobook is the same as reading. After doing it for this book, I can fully confirm that. However, I do think that audiobook listening—especially to stories and biographies—can be really insightful. Different than actual reading, but still nonetheless similar. As a result, I will be using a new "Audiobooks" tab for my audiobooks that I've listened As a disclaimer, this is the first audiobook I'm logging here onto Goodreads. I'm hesitant about doing so, because I do not think that listening to an audiobook is the same as reading. After doing it for this book, I can fully confirm that. However, I do think that audiobook listening—especially to stories and biographies—can be really insightful. Different than actual reading, but still nonetheless similar. As a result, I will be using a new "Audiobooks" tab for my audiobooks that I've listened to. --- So as for this book, I enjoyed it. It was a free audiobook on Christian audio last month. It is clearly aimed at younger children. And it isn't a typical biography. But it does tell his life decently well through different snippets of stories. I rate it only 3 stars because of it's shallowness. That being said, for children, I'd give it 5 stars. But I'm rating it for myself.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Dkovlak

    This was a very brief summary of Jonathan Edwards’ life. The book was so short I read it twice. He truly was a genius. He had many of the characteristics of another genius, Leonardo DaVinci. However, Jonathan was much more structured and therefore completed many things. He truly was a Christian who walked the talk. He preached one of the greatest sermons ever, SINNERS IN THE HANDS OF AN ANGRY GOD. This sermon should be listened to or read by every human being. He died an early death (only 55 year This was a very brief summary of Jonathan Edwards’ life. The book was so short I read it twice. He truly was a genius. He had many of the characteristics of another genius, Leonardo DaVinci. However, Jonathan was much more structured and therefore completed many things. He truly was a Christian who walked the talk. He preached one of the greatest sermons ever, SINNERS IN THE HANDS OF AN ANGRY GOD. This sermon should be listened to or read by every human being. He died an early death (only 55 years old), as a result of a bad reaction to a smallpox vaccination.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Valerie Kyriosity

    Having recently read Marriage to a Difficult Man, I thought it would be nice to fill in a little more knowledge about Jonathan Edwards. This was not the way to go about it. For a wonderful series of Christian biographies for young people, check out Richard Hannula's books. Unlike this travesty, they are not patronizing, anachronistic, or downright false in places. Having recently read Marriage to a Difficult Man, I thought it would be nice to fill in a little more knowledge about Jonathan Edwards. This was not the way to go about it. For a wonderful series of Christian biographies for young people, check out Richard Hannula's books. Unlike this travesty, they are not patronizing, anachronistic, or downright false in places.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Taylor Rollo

    Not a very good introduction to Jonathan Edwards life. It only told a few random stories and I told them in a very sensationalist way, playing up certain aspects of his personality and making up a lot of details that we do not know to make it sound more dramatic. The title is America's Genius, but after reading this you really would have very little knowledge of why he is America's genius. It was stated and a few places, but the book does not talk about his publications any amount of detail and d Not a very good introduction to Jonathan Edwards life. It only told a few random stories and I told them in a very sensationalist way, playing up certain aspects of his personality and making up a lot of details that we do not know to make it sound more dramatic. The title is America's Genius, but after reading this you really would have very little knowledge of why he is America's genius. It was stated and a few places, but the book does not talk about his publications any amount of detail and does not talk about his engagement with Enlightenment thought. There are plenty of other introductions to Jonathan Edwards that are shorter than full length biographies that would be better than this one.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mark Nenadov

    It is alright as an introduction to the basic outline of Edwards' life which attempts to draw in younger people, but far too fictionalized and speculative for my liking. Some filling in the blanks was necessary, but I feel that the author went a bit overboard. It is alright as an introduction to the basic outline of Edwards' life which attempts to draw in younger people, but far too fictionalized and speculative for my liking. Some filling in the blanks was necessary, but I feel that the author went a bit overboard.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Josh Bauder

    Juvenile hagiographic invention marketed as biography. smh

  14. 5 out of 5

    Liam

    Couldn’t make it through the first chapter. Not a biography, but more of a historical fiction. Not interested.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Doug Eaton

    This is a fun introduction to the life of Johnathan Edwards for pre-teen and teen readers. It is written in story format which helps to keep the attention of the reader. This is a basic introduction, so it lacks any real depth of exploration of his thought and theology, but the book will introduce the reader to Edward's love of nature and take them through his preaching of Sinners in the hands of an Angry God. Most of all, it will introduce them to his love for the Jesus Christ. They will see hi This is a fun introduction to the life of Johnathan Edwards for pre-teen and teen readers. It is written in story format which helps to keep the attention of the reader. This is a basic introduction, so it lacks any real depth of exploration of his thought and theology, but the book will introduce the reader to Edward's love of nature and take them through his preaching of Sinners in the hands of an Angry God. Most of all, it will introduce them to his love for the Jesus Christ. They will see his devotion and trust in God in all that he did. Along the way, you will also run across other characters like Benjamin Franklin, David Brainerd, and George Whitfield.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Stacy M. Patton

    This was the free book offered by Christian Audio for the month of May. I thought the audiobook was well done. This was my first Trailblazers book and it was well written. I enjoyed learning more about Jonathan Edwards and the genius mind God gave him. His example still lives on today and his message to put God first and to live, not for this life here on earth, but for our life in eternity, is a message I hope I will never forget! I will be encouraging my children to listen to this audiobook!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Claudine Munoz

    Another inspiring story of A great man of faith, who saw everything even the littlest detail in nature in God's perspective. Who use his great intellect in serving God with all that is within him. The book narrates the special events in his life that portray his maturity in faith, to his childhood prayer sanctuary to pulpit, where truly nothing is an accident and everything has a purpose. Great read all in all. Another inspiring story of A great man of faith, who saw everything even the littlest detail in nature in God's perspective. Who use his great intellect in serving God with all that is within him. The book narrates the special events in his life that portray his maturity in faith, to his childhood prayer sanctuary to pulpit, where truly nothing is an accident and everything has a purpose. Great read all in all.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Esteban Villarreal

    Thank is a kid’s book, but it is great like for people like me that usually have a struggle to get intrastate about biographies. After reading this book, I am more excited to keep reading about this great theologian. Jonathan Edwards, Great mind, about Sinead do you see God’s glory through nature or of God’s creation and A passionate for the gospel and share it do you his family and Indians. I am super excited and encouraged by his love for Jesus the gospel and enjoying God‘s creation

  19. 4 out of 5

    Brenten Gilbert

    RATING 3.78 STARS Nice, succinct biography of the preaching giant. I learned quite a bit about Edwards, which was cool, since I really only knew him as the author of SINNERS IN THE HAND OF AN ANGRY GOD. There was obviously much more to the man than that and I now have an even greater appreciation for his impact on the world around him. Also, I will continue to avoid getting a flu shot each year.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Matt Maples

    I am a big fan of Jonathon Edwards, and that is likely the reason I am not a big fan of this book. The biggest shortcomings of the book are probably the reasons other people might like it. I found it to to be far to short and abbreviated. Cutting down Edwards’s life to such a concise book forces you to have a disjointed and incomplete reading experience. But if this is your first interaction with Edwards, then this book is a perfect first encounter.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Hank Pharis

    This is one of a whole series of novels for young people about famous figures of church history. I was curious about the series so I listened to this one and enjoyed it. (Note: I'm stingy with stars. For me 2 stars means a good book. 3 = Very good; 4 = Outstanding {only about 5% of the books I read merit this}; 5 = All time favorites {one of these may come along every 400-500 books}) This is one of a whole series of novels for young people about famous figures of church history. I was curious about the series so I listened to this one and enjoyed it. (Note: I'm stingy with stars. For me 2 stars means a good book. 3 = Very good; 4 = Outstanding {only about 5% of the books I read merit this}; 5 = All time favorites {one of these may come along every 400-500 books})

  22. 4 out of 5

    John Majors

    Though this is written for a younger audience, I found the story based format so encouraging. I learned as much about Edwards's life from this short work than I did from other much more thorough works. Definitely worth reading - especially since it's the free Christian Audio book of the month this month (May 2018). Though this is written for a younger audience, I found the story based format so encouraging. I learned as much about Edwards's life from this short work than I did from other much more thorough works. Definitely worth reading - especially since it's the free Christian Audio book of the month this month (May 2018).

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    A biography told in a narrative style, so it seems it included a little embellishment. Between the embellishment and life events meant to illustrate doctrinal points — it was a little too “on the nose”. There are some great spots, but I realized those were quotes from Edwards himself. I think I’d like to read a less fictionalized biography or something authored by Edwards.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Elijah Abanto

    Finished this engaging and beautiful audiobook on Jonathan Edwards' life that is accessible to children. The last chapters told of his removal as pastor from a church in New Hampton, his ministry to American Indians, his installment as a leader of Princeton University, his illness and the last sermon he preached before his death. I highly recommend this book! Finished this engaging and beautiful audiobook on Jonathan Edwards' life that is accessible to children. The last chapters told of his removal as pastor from a church in New Hampton, his ministry to American Indians, his installment as a leader of Princeton University, his illness and the last sermon he preached before his death. I highly recommend this book!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Chris Hamilton

    I would probably give this about s 2.5 overall. It's not a bad book by any means but the story felt jumpy and disjointed. I was waiting for it to expound more of the life of Jonathan, but it's more of a very brief telling of his life and death. It would probably be a good introduction for kids around 9-11 years old. I received this product for free from Christian Audio. I would probably give this about s 2.5 overall. It's not a bad book by any means but the story felt jumpy and disjointed. I was waiting for it to expound more of the life of Jonathan, but it's more of a very brief telling of his life and death. It would probably be a good introduction for kids around 9-11 years old. I received this product for free from Christian Audio.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Norm Konzelman

    On the surface delightful words read well by the narrator. A joy to listen to. Beneath the surface, a very heavy though not at all bad spiritual message, and as God speaks through his men, as applicable now as it was then. I regretted the book was so short, but that was I suppose, just the amount it should have been. Great place to start if you wish to know more of a great man of God.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mh Weyler

    Like so many other reviewers, I am not convinced this book was an entirely true account of Jonathan Edwards. It does reference his journal so one might hope much of this was recorded there, but so much of the book was personal emotions and thoughts that it was hard to know how accurate. Definitely a short read and well geared to an overview for a younger child. But take it with a grain of salt.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    A great and easy to read overview of the life of Jonathan Edwards. A man who took holiness very seriously and was humble to the end. He died after receiving a smallpox vaccination. This makes me sad, yet God is the Author of our stories.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Shaun Marksbury

    This biography, clearly intended for younger readers, is light on detail and somewhat dramatized. Nonetheless, it's an interesting introduction to Edward's life, perhaps best for early teens. I listened to the audio book version of this work and had no complaints. Recommended. This biography, clearly intended for younger readers, is light on detail and somewhat dramatized. Nonetheless, it's an interesting introduction to Edward's life, perhaps best for early teens. I listened to the audio book version of this work and had no complaints. Recommended.

  30. 4 out of 5

    James Tetley

    I listened to this with my son in the car. Powerful story. My 7 year old son really enjoyed it. I would have loved to have listened to more of his life and ministry, but a beautiful overview of his life.

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