Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Musings from Jonathan Edwards #3

Some said that that "free will, meaning the ability to determine the nature of the choices made, is the basis of moral good and evil." But Edwards thought was that the "will does not determine choices, it selects among available choices. It is not a self-determining power."

Does Edwards’ doctrine make God the author of sin? Did not God cause Adam to sin when He withdrew preserving mercies from him? Edwards indicates that God left Adam after he fell [(3:382), but was there not a departure before Adam’s sin as well as in consequence of Adam’s sin? Were there two types of departures from Adam? Has Edwards really presented us with an explanation of how Adam fell? Are you comfortable with saying that God withheld His grace, needful to prevent sinning, and, thereby, is not the author of sin? Edwards is willing to say that God is the author of sin in the sense that He is the cause of everything that happens. However, God did not infuse an evil propensity into Adam so as to cause an evil action; He withdrew from him [a deprivation view, 3:381]. God permits evil in this manner; He is not the cause of it."

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