George Marsden is the Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History Emeritus at University of Notre Dame and he gave the first lecture in the “Jonathan Edwards and the Church” series (cosponsored with the Henry Center for Theological Understanding). In his lecture, he set the stage with a picture of Benjamin Franklin’s modernity as it was deeply shaped by emerging enlightenment and modern trends. Against this backdrop, his contemporary Jonathan Edwards posed a sharp contrast, the last of the Puritan theologians responding in his own way to a changing world, which Marsden fleshed out as a Edwards’s brilliant ‘theology of active beauty.’ Colin Smith, the pastor of the Orchard Evangelical Free Church, probed in response to Dr. Marsden’s lecture how pastors can help people move from the religion of Franklin to the faith of Edwards. The exchange between these two men was very stimulating to all in attendance.
A free audio and video of this lecture will be available soon.