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Jonathan Edwards and the Church$
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Rhys S. Bezzant

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199890309

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199890309.001.0001

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The Accountable Church in The Treatise Concerning Religious Affections

The Accountable Church in The Treatise Concerning Religious Affections

(p.125) 3.5 The Accountable Church in The Treatise Concerning Religious Affections
Jonathan Edwards and the Church

Rhys S. Bezzant

Oxford University Press

In this section, it is argued that the church proves itself to be both visible and accountable insofar as its members demonstrate the reality of their regeneration through the fruit of the Spirit in their lives. Edwards’s investigation of religious psychology in the context of revival spirituality gives priority to the long-term displays of ethical living built on a new sense of spiritual perception rather than on short-term appeals to emotion or coincidence. Affections for Edwards represent the deepest cluster of the interpenetrating parts of human identity, thereby distancing himself from the hierarchical faculty psychology of Puritan forebears that prioritized rationality or volition over emotions. The ecclesiological intent of this treatise is to provoke the church at Northampton to more devoted lives.

Keywords:   “Religious Affections”, Visibility, Accountability, Religious psychology, Spiritual experience, New sense, Regeneration, True religion, Faculty psychology

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