By Robert W. Jenson
Very much has lately been written approximately Jonathan Edwards. such a lot of it, in spite of the fact that, doesn't make critical Edwards's personal purpose to talk fact approximately God and the human scenario; his systematic theological purpose is appeared purely as an historic phenomenon. during this e-book, Robert Jenson presents a unique kind of interpretation, asking not just, "Why was once Edwards great?" but in addition, "Was Edwards right?" As a pupil of the tips of Newton and Locke, Jenson argues, Edwards was once a great deal a determine of the Enlightenment; yet in contrast to so much different americans, he was once additionally a discerning critic of it, and used to be capable of use Enlightenment inspiration in his theology with out yielding to its mechanistic and individualistic traits. by myself between Christian thinkers of the Enlightenment, Edwards conceived an authentically Christian piety and an artistic theology no longer despite Newton and Locke yet through advantage of them. Jenson sees Edwards's realizing as an intensive corrective to what dedication to the Enlightenment caused in American lifestyles, spiritual and differently. probably, Jenson proposes, restoration of Edwards's imaginative and prescient could make the mutual decision of yank tradition and American Christianity extra fruitful than it has but been.
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Additional info for America's Theologian: A Recommendation of Jonathan Edwards
What one finds throughout Edwards' published and unpublished works is instead a manifold assertion of the reasonableness of faith, in every sense of the phrase. According to Edwards, it is reasonable to think that 22 THE FOUNDING INTUITION God reveals himself; the alleged truth proposed by the actual revelation to Israel is satisfying to reason; and the processes by which we become convinced of this revelation's actuality are rational processes. Edwards can and regularly does sound like the most unchastened rationalists of his period.
12 "Spiritual" does not here have primarily the sense of invisible, but rather of personal, indeed communal. There is a world of spirits, comprising human souls, other created spirits, and God; and its personal and communal harmony is the beauty imaged in the corporeal world: "When we think of the great harmony of the parts of the corporeal world, it fills us with such astonishment that the soul is ready to break. Yet [it all is] but shadows of excellency, in comparison of those beauties and harmonies that may be in one finite spirit.
26 Masses thus accounted for, their motion is quickly incorporated into the scheme. Motion is "the communication of this resistance, from one part of space to another successively," and is therefore equally God's immediate act. " The laws of motion are but the regularities of God's spatial resistance-setting. " 27 There is instead the harmony of God's "immediate," that is, personally present, agency. If God's triunity is the harmony of what God is, the laws of motion are a harmony of what he does.
America's Theologian: A Recommendation of Jonathan Edwards by Robert W. Jenson