Jonathan Edwards: Original Sin

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BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
A. A. Hodge writes concerning pantheism:

"The same is true of all systems which represent providential preservation as a continual creation, deny the efficiency of secondary causes, and make God the only agent in the universe, e.g., Edwards on "Original Sin," pt. 4., chapter 3" (Outlines, 52).

"President Edwards teaches the same doctrine incidentally in his great work on Original Sin" (260).
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
A. A. Hodge writes concerning pantheism:

"The same is true of all systems which represent providential preservation as a continual creation, deny the efficiency of secondary causes, and make God the only agent in the universe, e.g., Edwards on "Original Sin," pt. 4., chapter 3" (Outlines, 52).

"President Edwards teaches the same doctrine incidentally in his great work on Original Sin" (260).
Robert Letham in his Systematic Theology is similarly critical towards Jonathan Edwards on this point.
 

James Marr

Puritan Board Freshman
Did any of the afore mentioned theologians sit down with Edwards and discuss his views?
Sometimes that's true, sometimes it isn't. I'm well-read on Edwards and 18th century theology and philosophy. I know what he is saying. Charles Hodge said the same thing about Edwards. So did Dabney and Shedd. Hodge said Edwards was a pantheist and no one would accuse Hodge of being ignorant of what Edwards meant or of being a theological light-weight.



By that same logic, we shouldn't be able to understand him when he is orthodox, either.
That is a false dichotomy - either we can understand all a persons says or nothing at all.
 

James Marr

Puritan Board Freshman
Just because other men think the same doesnt mean they are correct, what i said regarding anachronism is still valid. Also it would be an error in judgment to categorically state that by studying a persons works whom they never met or spoke with that they know what the person being studied means in all that they state.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Just because other men think the same doesnt mean they are correct, what i said regarding anachronism is still valid. Also it would be an error in judgment to categorically state that by studying a persons works whom they never met or spoke with that they know what the person being studied means in all that they state.
You have to prove it was an anachronism and you have to prove that I am misinterpreting him. You have done neither. I'm not a Freudian. I don't need to get to know the subject personally in order to interpret his works, otherwise all of church history is doomed.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Was Owen wrong to disagree with Rutherford on the nature of divine justice because he didn't sit down with him and talk it out?
 

James Marr

Puritan Board Freshman
You have to prove it was an anachronism and you have to prove that I am misinterpreting him. You have done neither. I'm not a Freudian. I don't need to get to know the subject personally in order to interpret his works, otherwise all of church history is doomed.
When it is a subject such as original sin then it would be very necessary to fully understand what the person believes. I am not charging anyone with anachronism I am simply stating that without knowing fully the mind of a person it would be very easy to become anachronistic also i am not charging anyone with misinterpretation. Although to categorically state to know all things about a person's view from studying their works is akin to travelling down a road and noticing everything therefore if the road is travelled again nothing new is found.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Although to categorically state to know all things about a person's view from studying their works
No one claimed that. Since I am not a postmodernist or a nominalist, I assume words have meaning. Jonathan Edwards was very specific on this point. He knew what philosophical occasionalism was. In fact, he anticipated the types of objections that I am raising, which decisively proves he thought he believed what I am saying he believed.
 

James Marr

Puritan Board Freshman
No one claimed that. Since I am not a postmodernist or a nominalist, I assume words have meaning. Jonathan Edwards was very specific on this point. He knew what philosophical occasionalism was. In fact, he anticipated the types of objections that I am raising, which decisively proves he thought he believed what I am saying he believed.
You said 'I know what hes saying'
 

James Marr

Puritan Board Freshman
I have not claimed you are a postmodernist or nominalist. I have also not mentioned church history these are all separate arguments each would need dealing with separately.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
You said 'I know what hes saying'
Which did not mean I know totally what his whole thought process as a human being is. I am operating under the assumption that words have meaning and as such, we know what Edwards was saying. Both his friends and critics interpreted him as such.

On our being sinful itself, Edwards is within the tradition. He has a good section on conreated holiness. When it comes to saying God recreates the universe every moment, he is not. He very clearly intends this doctrine. He raises the same objection that I am raising, and he thinks he deals with it. He does not say, "Oh wait, you misunderstood me." No, in his "Replies to Objections" he makes it very clear that we understood him correctly.
 

James Marr

Puritan Board Freshman
The importance of what a mans says is not nearly as important as what is the impact in what he says upon the Church. What are the principles of a man and how does that impact the Church. What was the impact of Edwards theology upon the Church and most especially what is the impact today?
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
And I mean no disrespect towards Edwards. He was the most profound thinker, religious or secular, in American history. Even secularists admit this much. We shall revisit the data. Remember, I am operating under the assumption that words have meaning.

“no [real] cause can produce effects in a time and place on which itself is not” (Original Sin, 1758; Edwards 1957–, vol. 3, 400).

“It don't at all necessarily follow,” for example, “that because there was…color, or resistance,…or thought, or any other dependent thing at the last moment, that therefore there shall be the like at the next” (Original Sin, 1758; Edwards 1957–, vol. 3, 404)

“the material universe exists only in the mind;” “the existence of all corporeal things is only ideas” (“Of Being,” “The Mind,” no. 51, and “Miscellanies,” no. 179; Edwards 1957, vol. 6, 204, 368, and vol. 13, 327)
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
The importance of what a mans says is not nearly as important as what is the impact in what he says upon the Church. What are the principles of a man and how does that impact the Church. What was the impact of Edwards theology upon the Church and most especially what is the impact today?
That's not the issue under discussion. Sure, he had a big impact. However, I am reviewing what he said on Original Sin.

Further, I am not discussing whether his words are primarily important. I am assessing what they actually mean.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
I am even willing to go with him in his claim that the material universe exists in the mind, as long as we understand this to be the mind of God.
 
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