Sunday, August 7, 2022

Jonathan Edwards on a College Education

With school beginning in a couple of weeks, I wanted to share with you some of Jonathan Edwards' thoughts about education. 

According to Iain Murray:

In his college years [Edwards] consciously set himself against adopting ideas simply because of the example of others: 'Men follow one another like a flock of sheep', and the 'prejudices and customs' are so strong, he observed, that even great men are insensible of the influence which these things have upon their opinions.

Edwards himself wrote:

I observe that old men seldom have any advantage of new discoveries because they are beside the way of thinking to which they have been so long used.

For Edwards, "beliefs were not to be judged by their apparent success or failure; they, and history, must be judged by Scripture." He wrote:

Learned men are exceedingly divided in their opinions concerning the matters of religion, running into all manner of corrupt opinions, pernicious and foolish errors. They scorn to submit their reason to divine revelation, to believe any thing that is above their comprehension; and so being wise in their own eyes they become fools.

In other words:

Avoid groupthink.

And submit everything to the Scriptures.