“I think ironically American evangelicals often seem to be more followers of Benjamin Franklin than they are of Jonathan Edwards. They [evangelicals] admire practicality, friendliness, moralisms, easy formulas, and quantifiable results. And while these Franklin-esque traits aren’t all bad they sometimes contribute to evangelical superficiality. And we all know they are the equivalent of spiritual purveyors of junk food that have long capitalized on evangelicalisms’ market-driven economy.”
Marsden went on to say he had gone by a church sign the previous year during Fourth of July which proclaimed, “The last four letters in American are I can.”
George Marsden, “The Legacy of Jonathan Edwards,” Beeson Divinity School, Nov. 12, 2004.
HT to Thomas Kidd (aka Tommy) for bringing this terrific lecture to my attention.