Thursday, July 20, 2006

'unspeakable variety'

It is frequently noted that Edwards' doctrine of preparation and conversion moves away from his Puritan fathers in rejecting the anatomy of conversion. This quotation from Owen's Pneumatalogia (1677), 306 seems to speak to the discussion:

'God is pleased to exercise a Prerogative and Sovereignty in this whole matter, and deals with the souls of men in unspeakable variety. Some he leads by the gates of death and hell unto rest in his love, like the people of old through the waste and howling wilderness into Canaan, and the paths of others he makes plain and easie unto them. Some walk or wander along in darkness, in the souls of others Christ is formed in the first visitation.'


Blogger C G said...

Can't wait to read your thesis!

12:45 pm  
Blogger Michael McClenahan said...

that makes two of us!

2:18 pm  
Blogger Michael McClenahan said...

One of my basic points is that we can be too quick to assert discontinuities between JE and his spiritual fathers. Of course, this is convenient as it allows the 'Edwards was a unique genius' thesis to triumph over the 'Edwards drank deeply of the tradition' thesis.

I think the discussion of conversion is a good example of this - it seems pretty clear that Owen said the same thing as JE - just a good deal earlier.

2:21 pm  
Blogger C G said...

I'm finding traces of the Bebbington idea of Edwards' view of assured conversion in Dublin in the 1650s too ...

2:55 pm  

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