Jonathan Edwards among the Theologians

Jonathan Edwards among the Theologians

Jonathan Edwards among the Theologians

Jonathan Edwards among the Theologians

Synopsis

Though Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) is widely regarded as America's most important theologian, very few people are actually familiar with his theology. In this book Oliver Crisp helpfully elucidates key themes in Edwards's thought.

Treating Edwards as a constructive theologian with serious philosophical interests, Crisp explains Edwards's thinking on such matters as the Trinity, creation, original sin, free will, and preaching. Crisp underscores the innovative nature of Edwards's work by bringing his thought into dialogue with other major Christian theologians such as Anselm and Arminius.

What emerges from Crisp's Jonathan Edwards among the Theologians is a complex, multifaceted picture of Edwards as a highly original, significant thinker who sometimes pressed at the very limits of orthodoxy and whose theological thought remains strikingly relevant today.

Excerpt

There is something about Jonathan Edwards. He is fascinating and intriguing, as well as infuriating and frustrating. a true original, a minister and inceptor of modern evangelicalism, a high Calvinist enamored of the work of key early Enlightenment philosophers, and a writer possessed of an unusually keen intellect and logical bent of mind. Until relatively recently, his work was not accorded the eminence it deserves. Thankfully, that situation has now changed decisively in recognition of Edwards’s importance as a Christian thinker of the first rank.

Part of the reason for the earlier neglect is that Edwards died before his life’s work was complete, so that much of his creative thought remained buried in university libraries, in manuscripts and notebooks that few could access. That has now changed thanks to the pioneering work of the Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University, and the painstaking editorial transcription of Edwards’s difficult, crabbed handwriting that has been the life work of a previous generation of scholart the Center’s website.

Difficulty accessing some of his writing is, however, only part of the reason for the historic neglect of Edwards from the end of the nineteenth century to the period following World War ii. There is also the matter of the intellectual demands Edwards places upon his readers. He writes clearly enough, but he is uncompromisingly orderly and methodical in the way he traces out his thought on paper. the austerity and precision of his . . .

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