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Good Selections, Too Abridged
on August 27, 2009
This was the required primary text reading for a class on Edwards. When it was all said and done, I was very disappointed. There is a wide selection of Edwards' works in this volume--sermons, letters, essays and treatises. It was helpful to be able to read parts from so many of these works. Edwards' writings can be quite varied, and this volume really allows the reader to see the difference in his writings.
The editorial process on each work is rough. Admittedly, several of the works are quite lengthy in their full text, and you would just need to buy the two volume version of Edwards' works (and a magnifying glass) if you wanted the full texts. However, some of these texts are cut so short that you don't really get a feel for Edwards' real argument. I'm specifically thinking about his treatise on Original Sin, where you only get some of his natural arguments, and little (if any) of his biblical and theological arguments. The same could be said about the treatise on Free Will. This is unfortunate, as it makes Edwards look to be more of a philosopher and less of a theologian. Edwards was clearly both.
The editors had no choice but to chop Edwards' works into small pieces for this volume. However, it would have been nice to see the multifaceted nature of his arguments, instead of being left with a few odd ramblings.