Borrowed Liability

In the light of the recent debates over the respective theologies of Bavinck, Nevin, Edwards, Hart, and Duncan, I thought I’d post this excerpt from an article I wrote for Modern Reformation a few years ago…. *** “The Beatles are more popular than Jesus.” Such was John Lennon’s evaluation of the phenomenon of Beatlemania in the mid-1960s. What is even more interesting than Lennon’s observation, however, is the response...

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Assurance Through Action

Because the soul is not only affected by the consideration of religious things, it must be remembered that the mere presence of affections does not prove the presence of true religion. Edwards listed various examples of affections which are neither proof of the presence of true religion nor proof of its absence. Edwards argued that true religious affections arise only from those influences of the Spirit of God that are saving and not common. In...

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Edwardsian Anthropology

“The affections,” writes Jonathan Edwards, “are no other than the more vigorous and sensible exercises of the inclination and will of the soul.” Edwards taught that God has endued the soul with two faculties; the first is that by which the soul perceives, discerns, and views things (the understanding), and the second is that by which the soul does not merely perceive things, but is in some way inclined with respect to the...

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Jonathan Edwards and the Religious Affections

I entered Westminster Seminary California a pretty devout Edwardsian, and yet as I spent most of the summer of 2002 doing preparatory research for a directed study project with Dr. D.G. Hart on Edwards’s versus Calvin’s view of assurance (the paper was titled What Hath Geneva to do with Northampton?), my sympathies shifted from the eighteenth- to the sixteenth century, and from Massachusetts to Switzerland. At present, the main thing...

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