chapter  1
40 Pages

Arminianism in New England

This chapter focuses on the nature and consequences of sin. Edwards' exposition of the fall provides the obvious context for his teaching on salvation. The chapter concerns exegetical: the meaning of the Pauline phrase 'works of the law' and its significance for understanding the definition of sola fide. It mentions the derogation of the grace of the gospel in the Arminian scheme and it explains the broader and complex issue of the imputation of the righteousness of Christ. The chapter examines Edwards' positive statement concerning the place of 'evangelical obedience'. This area of Edwards' thought is interpreted in diverse ways in the secondary literature. The chapter demonstrates the correct reading only emerges from a detailed study of the text, particularly where previous readings overlook important historical, theological, and textual considerations. Edwards' own distinct awareness of the opposition to his own tradition both sharpens the polemical aspects and brings the detail of the Reformed doctrine into a more definite focus.