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The Freedom of the Will by Jonathan Edwards (Hardcover)

$27.00 $21.00
(You save $6.00)

The Freedom of the Will by Jonathan Edwards (Hardcover)

$27.00 $21.00
(You save $6.00)
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9781573580335
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Publisher's Description

Many scholars believe this work, published in 1754, is the most important argument against Arminianism published in America. The Freedom of the Will is divided into four parts. The first deals with terminology; the nature and determination of the will; the meaning of necessity, impossibility, and contingency; the distinction between natural and moral necessity; and the nature of moral agency and liberty. The second considers the possibility of self-determination. The third analyzes divine agency regarding human beings and the world. In the conclusion, Edwards anticipates the reception the work will receive. Noteworthy is Edwards’s essential agreement with the empiricist John Locke that the question of whether or not the will was “free” was badly posed; the real issue, he said, is whether the person is free. The majority of the work, however, deals with the will’s freedom (in contrast to the freedom of the whole person) as it seeks to refute the Arminian notion of the will. For Edwards, the errors of the Arminians essentially resulted from denying God’s absolute sovereignty; in contrast to Calvinist orthodoxy, Arminians insisted that secondary causes could operate in the individual apart from the influence of the divine will. This notion of the will’s freedom had Pelagian roots, which Edwards rightly exposed. Furthermore, the refusal of the Arminians to acknowledge the individual’s total corruption promoted further error. The will cannot be free as the Arminians would have it, Edwards argued, for true freedom can only belong to God, who is self-sustaining and therefore free from other influences.

 

About the Author

Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) is by far the best known American theologian. After graduating from and teaching at Yale University, he began a very fruitful ministry at Northampton, MA. The church was the scene of the explosive revival of 1734, 35, and burned fiercely for God under Edwards for several years. Edwards then went to pastor the lowly Indians. But at last he was called to be the first president of Princeton University, where he served only 5 weeks, dying of smallpox.
 
 
 
Endorsement
 
This is truly one of the greatest works written. Daniel Webster wrote: "The Freedom of the Will" by Mr. Edwards is the greatest achievement of the human intellect." The London Quarterly Review wrote about this work: "His gigantic specimen of theological argument is as near to perfection as we may expect any human composition to approach. He unites the sharpness of the scimetar [sic] and the strength of the battle-axe." A former President of Princeton said that Edwards was "The greatest thinker that America has produced."

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