The Philosophical Theology of Jonathan Edwards

The Philosophical Theology of Jonathan Edwards

The Philosophical Theology of Jonathan Edwards

The Philosophical Theology of Jonathan Edwards

Excerpt

Jonathan Edwards was gifted with extraordinary vision and dialectical powers. His vision was at once a simple and immediate apprehension of a "divine and supernatural light" which flooded his world and his soul, and an extremely complex intuition in which Being, truth, virtue, beauty, and holiness fused into a splendor which ravished him all his days. His illuminating and probing mind sought out all knowledge available to him and gave it a form and brilliance all his own, so that no other man wrote like him. He observed and analyzed, read and meditated, explored and argued, always in the presence of that "great and glorious Being" whose excellency was his joy and his delight. Mysticism and logic, delight and discourse, emotion and thought, were united one with another in Edwards' mind to produce writing which is poetry, philosophy, and theology, all at once. Edwards enjoyed his vision and he enjoyed his dialectics. He enjoyed feeling and he enjoyed thinking, but he enjoyed immediately his God who was to him both mind and love: a mind infinitely rich and a love of infinite self-communication. Edwards rejoiced in his God because He loved "Being-in-general" primarily, and particular beings accordingly. God's love was to Edwards an intelligent love, at once benevolent and rational, without sentimentality and without frigidity. It is no surprise therefore that God had communicated the same love to him. The rare wonder of Edwards is the exhilarating union in him of many-

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