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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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Conclusion: Edwards as a Theological Bridge

Conclusion: Edwards as a Theological Bridge

(p.718) 45 Conclusion: Edwards as a Theological Bridge
The Theology of Jonathan Edwards

Michael J. McClymond

Gerald R. McDermott

Oxford University Press

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

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