Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) is widely regarded as North America's most influential theologian. Throughout the early decades of his ministry he engaged in a public and sustained debate with 'Arminian' theology, a crusade that contributed significantly to the events of the Great Awakening. This book investigates the contours and substance of this theological war. In establishing a clearer historical context for this polemic, McClenahan seeks to overturn the scholarly consensus that Edwards' own theology was a twisting of the Reformed tradition. By demonstrating that Edwards' interlocutor was the dead English Archbishop, John Tillotson, McClenahan provides the hermeneutical key for many of Edwards' most significant works. Justification by faith is one of the most contested doctrines in contemporary theology and Jonathan Edwards, referred to as America's Augustine, wrote extensively on this area. His is a voice that many people are keen to hear.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction; Arminianism in New England; Anglican Arminianism; 'We are justified by faith in Christ'; Proving the doctrine; Broader considerations concerning faith and works; General conclusion; Bibliography; Index.
Dr McClenahan works for the Presbyterian Church in Ireland and has degrees in Jurisprudence, Theology, and Ecclesiastical History from the University of Oxford. During his doctoral research on Jonathan Edwards he was able to spend 18 months working on the Edwards' manuscript collection at the Beinecke Library, Yale University. He was a graduate research fellow at Yale University Divinity School and since 2005 he has been a Fellow of the Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University. He is an editor of Jonathan Edwards Studies published by the Jonathan Edwards Center.
Classified as 'Research Essential' by Baker & Taylor YBP Library Services A Yankee Book Peddler US Core Title for 2012 ’"Broader and more complex." That is the view of Edwards that Michael McClenahan reaches for here, and achieves in impressive fashion. Recent interpretations of Edwards on soteriology, and especially the pivotal doctrine of justification, have been simplistic and ahistorical, McClenahan insists. Employing a careful methodology that chastises the partial scholar and paying special heed to historical context, this rich study provides a reappraisal of Edwards that shows how he was grounded in, but also creatively adapted, the Reformed tradition.’ Kenneth Minkema, Yale Divinity School, USA ’...this volume is the most important work to date on Edwards’s doctrine of justification. It deserves to be read widely by those interested in Edwards’s theology, Reformed theology, or the doctrine of justification specifically.’ Journal of Theological Studies ’...an extraordinarily rich contribution to present debates on justification in Edwards’s corpus, as well as providing careful distinctions which provides categories for evaluating other contemporary debates on soteriology. McClenahan is a sure hand, guiding us confidently and persistently through sometimes difficult historical and theological terrain.’ Themelios ’Meticulously researched, rigorously argued, and sprinkled with helpful summary paragraphs throughout, this is a work that will benefit both pastors and scholars on a central concern of the Gospel.’ Scottish Bulletin of Evangelical Theology