Chapter

Conclusion: Edwards as a Theological Bridge

Michael J. McClymond and Gerald R. McDermott

in The Theology of Jonathan Edwards

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199791606
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932290 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199791606.003.0045
Conclusion: Edwards as a Theological Bridge

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Scholars have frequently compared Edwards to Calvin and categorized Edwards as a Calvinist theologian first and foremost. Yet this categorization is too narrow. Like a great tree, Edwards's thought was rooted in one spot (the Calvinist tradition), but its branches stretched far and wide in many directions. Edwards emerges in this volume as a seminal, original, and protean figure. Precisely because of his many-sidedness, this chapter concludes that Edwards may be understood as a bridging figure within the fragmented world of twenty-first century Christianity—between East and West, Protestant and Catholic, liberal and conservative, charismatic and non-charismatic. It argues that it may be appropriate to cease speaking of Jonathan Edwards as “America's theologian” and to begin thinking of him as a global theologian for twenty-first-century Christianity. His thought may have more linkages and more points of reference to various constituencies within world Christianity than any other modern Christian theologian.

Keywords: Calvin; Calvinist; global church; world Christianity; charismatic; conservative; liberal; protestant; Catholic; East; West; Orthodoxy; Catholicism

Chapter.  4564 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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