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After Jonathan EdwardsThe Courses of the New England Theology$
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Oliver D. Crisp and Douglas A. Sweeney

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199756292

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199756292.001.0001

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After Edwards: Original Sin and Freedom of the Will

After Edwards: Original Sin and Freedom of the Will

Chapter:
(p.51) 3 After Edwards: Original Sin and Freedom of the Will
Source:
After Jonathan Edwards
Author(s):

Allen Guelzo

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199756292.003.0004

The two books by Edwards that received the most attention from both proponents and opponents of the New England Theology were his Freedom of the Will (1754) and Original Sin (1758). This chapter offers a summary of their contents and significance in the development of Edwards’s legacies. In Freedom of the Will, Edwards developed his well-known distinction between the unregenerate sinner’s “natural ability” to repent and live a life that pleases God and her “moral inability” to do the same. In Original Sin, Edwards showed the massive extent of human depravity in an attempt to combat the optimistic anthropologies of more liberal British moralists. Along the way, Edwards emphasized the affectional dynamics of both depravity and regenerate moral living. He also argued for the radical dependence of the universe and humanity on God, from moment to moment, for their existence.

Keywords:   natural ability, moral inability, Original Sin, Freedom of the Will

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