Jonathan Edwards’s Apologetic

The Christ the Center panel had the privilege of interviewing Rev. Dr. Robert Davis Smart, senior minister of Christ Church (PCA) in Bloomington, IL, and author of the recently released Jonathan Edwards’s Apologetic for the Great Awakening. This is an excellent study of Edwards’s moderate defense of the First Great Awakening over against the criticisms of the “Old Brick” and future quasi-Unitarian Charles Chauncy. Smart points out that the big question was: Was the awakening a work of the Holy Spirit? Dr. Smart also discusses the relevance of Edwards and revival for today.

Participants: , ,

Christ the Center focuses on Reformed Christian theology. In each episode a group of informed panelists discusses important issues in order to encourage critical thinking and a better understanding of Reformed doctrine with a view toward godly living. Browse more episodes from this program or subscribe to the podcast feed.

Leave a Reply to Jeff Downs Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Thomas Sullivan

9 years ago

This was quite an interesting discussion, I will definitely look for his book. When mention is made of “mentalists” view of the Great Awakening, it seems that Daryl Hart, Mark Noll, and R. Scott Clark, make me nervous regarding their assessments of the Great Awakening. I love to listen to them to learn about Presbyterian history, but I trust Iain Murray far more as a historian of the Great Awakening. I wish Dr. Smart would have went into more detail about his concerns about the Gospel Coalition. I have always wondered if their evangelism and views of the “regulative principle” would have concerned good men like Jonathan Edwards.
By the way, I am adding my narration of the Sereno Dwight’s Life of J. Edwards to my podcast this week. Jeff W’s comments are always enlightening, you men have my respect as scholars! Thomas – Grand Rapids, MI

Camden Bucey

9 years ago

Thanks Thomas. You may [or may not!] be interested in Darryl Hart’s interview on the OPC 75th anniversary. It is scheduled for publication in about two weeks. He gets into a bit of his Old Side views.

Thomas Sullivan

9 years ago

Camden: Thanks for the Heads Up on Hart’s work. I respect him highly and learn from him always, but I sure am glad to have purchased Smart’s work on this subject, I just got it yesterday. Helps to live in the same city as Heritage Books.


9 years ago

I agree with Iain Murray’s beliefs, but as a historian he is not a critical historian. Hart has his bias also but he is a far more capable historian.

This was the greatest episode of Christ the Centre I believe.

Chris E

9 years ago

Banner of Truth do sterling work in many ways, but I think their support for Edwards has to be read alongside their support of a particular type of 20th century British evangelism. When I read their work on Edwards, he starts to sound like a 17th century version of MLJ.

I think it was a bit unfair cast Chauncy’s arguments as – implicitly – that of a Unitarian. The critique of Edwards doesn’t necessarily slide off into heterodoxy.

Jeffrey Waddington

9 years ago


I stand by my characterization of Chauncy. I do not think you can so neatly disconnect his criticisms of the revival from where he eventually landed. This is not to accept everything that happened in the revival. I have rad the Chauncy material and am not impressed. Chauncy’s idea of spirituality is reasonableness.

Jeff Downs

9 years ago

You may know this already, but we have Stephen Nichols addressing Edward’s apologetic here and his practice here.

Jonathan Edwards’s Apologetic « Blogmatics

8 years ago

[…] Forum did an audio interview with Smart that you may want to listen to. You can find the audio here. Enjoy! Share […]



Reformed Forum
115 Commerce Dr., Suite E
Grayslake, IL 60030

+1 847.986.6140

Copyright © 2020 Reformed Forum