Chapter

After Edwards: Original Sin and Freedom of the Will

Allen Guelzo

in After Jonathan Edwards

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199756292
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950379 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199756292.003.0004
After Edwards: Original Sin and Freedom of the Will

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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

Chapter.  5493 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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