Sunday, 5 June 2016

Summer Schedule

This is starting to shape up to be a great summer. I recently finished the last edits and index for my forthcoming book, Jonathan Edwards and Transatlantic Print Culture, which is now available for pre-sale on and the OUP website.

Last summer, when I was taking a Rare Book School course at the Library Company of Philadelphia, I had the archive's photographer take digital images of several first edition books by Jonathan Edwards, with the intent that one of these pictures could be used for the cover. I was glad that OUP agreed to use one of the images. The cover for the book consists of spines images (from left to right) of Edwards's Some Thoughts (1742), Religious Affections (1746), Humble Attempt (1748), Freedom of the Will (1754), Original Sin (1758), Life of Edwards (1765), Sermons on the Following Subjects (1780), and A History of the Work of Redemption (1774). I was thrilled to read the blurbs that OUP secured from Catherine Brekus and David Hall of Harvard Divinity School and Ken Minkema of the Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale.

My remaining summer schedule will consist of some fly fishing at the Hiwassee River and Tims Ford Dam in Tennessee, surfing at Carolina Beach, NC, a family reunion in the Pittsburgh, PA area, redoing my Modern Christian Thought course, creating the lectures for a new gen ed course at UTC on the History of Christianity, and taking a seminar at Princeton University's Witherspoon Institute on "Religion and Liberty in the American Founding Era" taught by Daniel Dreisbach, Thomas Kidd, and Gerald McDermott. It should be a great summer!

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

More Books That I Am Reading

Image result for george marsden c. s. lewisImage result for john fea the bible causeTwo new books arrived in the mail today. I look forward to reading George Marsden's new biography of C. S. Lewis's Mere Christianity. As a member of the C. S. Lewis lecture committee at UTC, I hope to nab George Marsden for our next annual lecture. The other book that I recently received was John Fea's The Bible Cause, which chronicles a history of the American Bible Society. I talk quite about about the American Bible Society in my annual course at UTC on "Religion in American Life," and so I imagine that Fea's work will be very useful for me.

Also, today I noticed that Jonathan Edwards and Transatlantic Print Culture is now available for pre-order on and waiting on the cover art for the dust jacket and the blurbs.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Books that I am reading

Image result for josh mcmullen, under the big topWith the semester winding down (my final exams are on April 21), I finally have time to catch up on some reading. I recently started reading Josh McMullen's Under the Big Top: Big Tent Revivalism and American Culture, 1885-1925 and John Turner's The Mormon Jesus: A Biography. Both books will no doubt help me understand these subjects better, which I hope will allow me to do a better job at teaching this material to my students in an annual general education course that I offer at UTC entitled, "Religion in American Life."

Image result for the mormon jesus, turner
I am especially enjoying Turner's The Mormon Jesus. Admittedly, I know only the basics about Mormonism, just enough to teach the applicable material in my American religions course about Joseph Smith and the founding of this faith within the context of other 19th-century Restoration movements. In the previous fall semester, I had a Mormon student in my class who asked a lot of questions about American Protestantism, often comparing and contrasting this religion with Mormonism. Based on my experience and conversations with this student, I thought that it would be a good idea to learn more about the theology of Mormonism, and how its doctrines compare with traditional forms of Christianity. I appreciate Turner's insight as a non-Mormon "Gentile" and how he explains the various aspects of Christology from a Protestant viewpoint. It also helps that Turner is an excellent writer, which is why I am making considerable headway through the book.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

TEDS PowerPoint and Audio Lecture Now Available

Image result for teds, jonathan yeagerI am sorry that I have not been very active lately in my posts. This has been a busy year for me. I am going up for tenure, I am reviewing copyedited files for my forthcoming book on Jonathan Edwards and Transatlantic Print Culture, I am creating an online course for my university (requiring hours of audio lecture recordings), and my family and I recently moved into a house that we built.

I did want to share the news that Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS) has recently posted a link to a lecture that I gave at TEDS last October on the publication of Jonathan Edwards's books. An audio version of my lecture and the PowerPoint slides are available at this link. Take a look and let me know what you think.