George Marsden describes how Lewis gradually went from being an atheist to a committed Anglican—famously converting to Christianity in 1931 after conversing into the night with his friends J. R. R. Tolkien and Hugh Dyson—and how Lewis delivered his wartime talks to a traumatized British nation in the midst of an all-out war for survival. Marsden recounts how versions of those talks were collected together in 1952 under the title Mere Christianity, and how the book went on to become one of the most widely read presentations of essential Christianity ever published, particularly among American evangelicals. He examines its role in the conversion experiences of such figures as Charles Colson, who read the book while facing arrest for his role in the Watergate scandal. Marsden explores its relationship with Lewis's Narnia books and other writings, and explains why Lewis's plainspoken case for Christianity continues to have its critics and ardent admirers to this day.
With uncommon clarity and grace, Marsden provides invaluable new insights into this modern spiritual classic.
Jonathan Edwards is a towering figure in American history. A controversial theologian and the author of the famous sermon Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, he ignited the momentous Great Awakening of the eighteenth century.
In this definitive and long-awaited biography, Jonathan Edwards emerges as both a great American and a brilliant Christian. George Marsden evokes the world of colonial New England in which Edwards was reared-a frontier civilization at the center of a conflict between Native Americans, French Catholics, and English Protestants. Drawing on newly available sources, Marsden demonstrates how these cultural and religious battles shaped Edwards' life and thought. Marsden reveals Edwards as a complex thinker and human being who struggled to reconcile his Puritan heritage with the secular, modern world emerging out of the Enlightenment. In this, Edwards' life anticipated the deep contradictions of our American culture.
Meticulously researched and beautifully composed, this biography offers a compelling portrait of an eminent American.