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Jonathan Edwards for the Church Conference

confA notable feature of the recovery of the Reformed faith in the United Kingdom was God’s use of American theologian Jonathan Edwards in the ministries and lives of the leaders. Thomas Chalmers, Charles Spurgeon, A. W. Pink, John Murray, and D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones all considered the discovery of Edwards’ writings as turning points in their ministries. Indeed, it is at least possible that the qualitative influence of Edwards has been greater here than it has been among the American church. Jonathan Edwards for the Church seeks to promote such usefulness in a new generation.

The upcoming Jonathan Edwards for the Church Conference will take place next year on February 27 and 28 at Collingwood College, Durham (UK), and the speakers include Reformed ministers who have studied Edwards as well as specialist scholars who are also ministers. They are:

  • Nicholas T. Batzig
  • David Owen Filson
  • William Macleod
  • 
Gerald R. McDermott
  • John J. Murray
  • 
Jon D. Payne
  • William M. Schweitzer
  • 
Douglas A. Sweeney
  • Jeffrey C. Waddington

This conference will provide a forum in the UK for ministers and other interested Christians to share the riches of Jonathan Edwards’s astonishing ministry. We have seen half a century of rapidly escalating JE publications and research, and there have been many conferences held all over the world but this is believed to be the first held in England. While most of these conferences have been primarily for the academy, this conference is unashamedly for the church. Therefore, worship and prayer will be integrated into the program.

You can register now here. For more information please contact edwardsconference@gmail.com or visit edwardsconference.org.

Sweeney’s Booknotes: Edwards on Prayer

bookBrian G. Najapfour, Jonathan Edwards: His Doctrine of & Devotion to Prayer (Caledonia, MI: Biblical Spirituality Press, 2013).

This booklet featuring Edwards’ best-known statements on Christian prayer will surely be cherished by many Reformed evangelicals. It is published by the author’s own ministry in Michigan. A Philippino native, Najapfour came to the United States in 2006 for graduate work at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. He is currently the pastor of United Reformed Church in Caledonia, MI, an avid blogger (biblicalspirituality.wordpress.com) and spiritual writer.

This work has five brief chapters on Edwards’ view and practice of prayer; an annotated bibliography of primary and secondary sources on Edwards and prayer; an appendix of excerpts from Edwards’ correspondence on prayer (which also includes a snippet on prayer from Edwards’ eulogy for the short-lived missionary, David Brainerd); another appendix on the prayerful friendship of Edwards’ daughter Esther Edwards Burr and Sarah Prince; and a concluding prayer by Trevin Wax (another avid blogger and spiritual writer) adapted from many of Edwards’ famous “Resolutions.”

Those who want a comprehensive treatment of Edwards’ approach to prayer should consult Peter Beck, The Voice of Faith: Jonathan Edwards’s Theology of Prayer (Joshua Press, 2010). But Christians looking for a brief, inspiring booklet on the subject can do no better than this work by Pastor Najapfour.