The History of Jonathan Edwards Steve Lawson
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Jonathan Edwards some criticized statements:
When discussing "Concerning sin's first entrance into the world," Edwards proposes that the first sin arose because of the imperfection of the creation:
It was meet, if sin did come into existence, and appear in the world, it should arise from the imperfection which properly belongs to a creature, as such, and should appear so to do, that it might appear not to be from God as the efficient or fountain.
In his last sermons, Edwards says,
Adam, the first surety of mankind, failed in his work, because he was a mere creature, and so a mutable being. Though he had so great a trust committed to him, as the care of the eternal welfare of all his posterity, yet, not being unchangeable, he failed, and transgressed God's holy covenant. He was led aside, and drawn away by the subtle adversary found means to turn him aside, and so he fell, and all his posterity fell with him.
Edwards claims that Adam was deceived because he was "a mere creature." Adam was only an "imperfect" creature. It is certainly contrary to the biblical affirmation that God saw all that he had made were very good and contrary to Edwards' claim of the initial righteous state of man.
But if by the author of sin, is meant the permitter, or not a hinderer of sin; and at the same time, a disposer of the state of events, in such a manner, for wise, holy and most excellent ends and purposes, that sin, if it be permitted or not hindered, will most certainly and infallibly follow: I say I don't deny that God is the author of sin, (though I dislike and reject the phrase, as that which by use and custom is apt to carry another sense) it is no reproach for the most High to be thus the author of sin.
Edwards accepts that God permits sin to occur but He is not the efficient cause. He denies that "any such thing to be the consequence of what I have laid down," but his logic cannot allow to stop here. Holbrook comments, "It was all very well for Edwards to pitch his argument on the principle of permissiveness by God, but he had still unsettled the crucial issue of God's responsibility for sin.
By denying self-determining power of human being, assuming the necessity of consequence, and affirming the absolute certainty of God's foreknowledge, Jonathan Edwards actually makes God the author of first sin. His argument implies that God was not only a permitter, but also the efficient cause for first sinful volition. Storms, an Edwards' admirer, also admits.