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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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Theology of Revival

Theology of Revival

(p.424) 27 Theology of Revival
The Theology of Jonathan Edwards

Michael J. McClymond

Gerald R. McDermott

Oxford University Press

To understand Edwards's theology of revival, it is important to interpret his revival writings in chronological order. Early writings, such as Faithful Narrative, are optimistic in tone and aimed primarily at cautioning detractors not to reject them because of particular external features. Over time, the writings become more tentative and are directed toward those who trusted in their exalted spiritual experiences. Yet throughout his life he always sought to provide a theology of revival that was empirically based and biblically informed. Ultimately he would urge the Old Lights not to reject a revival as spurious if it involved bodily and visionary experiences, and New Lights not to embrace a revival as genuine merely because it exhibited these phenomena. Despite differences between America's Great Awakening and Great Britain's Evangelical Revival, Edwards became the leading theological interpreter of the transatlantic revivals.

Keywords:   revival, Great Awakening, Evangelical Revival, Old Lights, New Lights, affections

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