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The Theology of Jonathan Edwards$
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Michael J. McClymond and Gerald R. McDermott

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199791606

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199791606.001.0001

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Free Will and Original Sin

Free Will and Original Sin

(p.339) 22 Free Will and Original Sin
The Theology of Jonathan Edwards

Michael J. McClymond

Gerald R. McDermott

Oxford University Press

Jonathan Edwards thought a misunderstanding of the human will was at the root of nearly all that had gone wrong in theology. Often dissatisfied with existing boundaries, he paid tribute in Freedom of the Will to intellectualists on the will by stipulating that the will always follows the last dictate of the understanding, which “is as the greatest apparent good is.” He concluded that there is no true freedom of the will when the will is indifferent or self-determined without influence or motive. In Original Sin he attempted two things: to establish universal depravity and to demonstrate the fact and justice of the imputation of Adam's sin. The end of the chapter considers philosophical objections to Edwards's occasionalism, and the charge that he strayed far from Calvin on the authorship of Adam's sin.

Keywords:   free will, indifference, determinism, imputation, Adam's sin, occasionalism

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