Christianity was no barrier to slave-ownership, however. Olson believes that Edwards has become the darling of Christian thought for many evangelicals due in no small part to receiving a “pass” on many of his unfortunate logical and theological blunders–not to mention his glaring hypocrisy in defending slave ownership. One more note on Edward’s misgivings of the Transatlantic slave trade bears mentioning. george whitefield… Strangely enough Edwards attempted to argue that while all men, including African slaves, are our equal neighbors and possibly even our equal brothers and sisters in Christ in the Kingdom of God, it was not at all sinful to use one’s African “neighbors’s work without wages” in a slave context. They sought to dismiss Doolittle on the basis of slave ownership while Edwards sought to defend him on the basis that it was not inherently wrong to make any slave “work without wages.”. O be not weary of well doing! Now, let’s stop and examine this line of reasoning a bit. In other words, compare and contrast the rigid Puritan view of God with the … Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield are to revivalism and the Great Awakening as Vince Young and Reggie Bush are to athletes and a new age of football. Rather “slavery is bondage, and nothing more… only a right to his service without consent…”[3] You can’t make this stuff up if you tried! Again–to give an event in the world your disapproval is to call into question what God has predetermined ought to occur. Calvinism’s problem is that what God predestines is so closely aligned to what God condones that a Calvinist must step outside his theology to condemn it and redress it. Differences between Edwards and Whitfield: Edwards only occasionally preached outside of his church/Whitfield spent his entire life in itinerancy, usually preaching in public spaces rather than church buildings . Unfortunately, some Christian biographers tend to provide… If one says “from his nature,” then, with the denial of libertarian free will, God becomes a machine. It’s Complicated. But the larger question I find myself pondering is, should it really be all that surprising to us that principal, Arminian leaders like Wesley, Asbury, Wilberforce and Finney opposed slavery–and did so on Arminian theological grounds? Perhaps it’s fitting to simply state: It takes a hypocrite to know a hypocrite. Asking someone to define Jonathan Edwards’ historical and theological legacy can vary from person to person. Would it not be to put one’s self in the position of fighting against Almighty God? Perhaps it’s fitting to simply state: It takes a hypocrite to know a hypocrite. Jonathan Edwards He and his wife Sarah had eleven children of their own.Though John Wesley and Jonathan Edwards were born the … As alluded to earlier the most troubling feature of Edward’s legacy is the fact that he did not will freedom to his slaves upon his death–something which was not at all uncommon in his day as America’s moral conscience began to awaken in the North. Massachusetts historian Minkema Kenneth explains: For example in examining Edward’s sermon notes for, “, The fact of the matter is that a Calvinist must shelve his belief about God’s unconditional, meticulous determination of all things in order to condemn any, On a side note, many have pondered why Edwards, who zealously opposed Arminianism, would be willing to come to the aid of a minister who was suspected of having Arminian leanings. Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils. Few figures, bar his friends, Jonathan Edwards and John Wesley, loomed as large in the history of transatlantic evangelicalism in the age of the Enlightenment as that of George Whitefield (1714-1770). Whitefield was all life and fire, thunder and lightning. But things get much, much worse when Edwards deals with free will. Was there something more going on beyond mere cultural contamination blinding them? The Puritans regarded themselves as God’s Elect, and so they had no difficulty with slavery, which had the sanction of the Law of the God of Israel. [4], This is rather interesting because some seek to defend Edward’s slave ownership on the grounds that America, despite her spiritual awakening, had not yet begun to awaken to the injustice and evil of slavery. Henry Abelove, William and Mary Quarterly 29 (1972): 487-89; George Whitefield's Journals … A British clergyman of the Anglican Church, Whitefield’s eloquent oratory skills and charismatic personality helped spark the spiritual revival known as “The Great Awakening” throughout Britain, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and the North American colonies. As such slavery ought now to be abolished from the Christian community. Few figures, bar his friends, Jonathan Edwards and John Wesley, loomed as large in the history of transatlantic evangelicalism in the age of the Enlightenment as that of George Whitefield (1714-1770). It was said that Archbishop Cornwallis gave so many balls and social parties at Lambeth Palace that the King actually wrote More on this soon. The cities were small: Boston and Philadelphia were only about 20,000 each. George Whitefield: v. 1 : The Life and Times of the Great Evangelist of the Eighteenth Century Revival. Welcome to Two-Handed Warriors! All of those ideas can perhaps be dismissed as the speculations of a mind obsessed with God’s greatness, glory and sovereignty. Whether one can admit it or not, the fact is there is very little logical space Calvinism can offer by way of motivation and incentive to put to right the wrongs of the world. Cotton Mather told blacks they were the “miserable children of Adam and Noah, “for whom slavery had been ordained as a punishment.” [14]. Edwards was a meticulous writer, crafting pamphlets for publication. Edward’s Calvinistic theology led him to believe that everything that occurs in the world is exactly as God predestined it to be–including slavery. Should it really surprise us that Calvinist leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention defended slavery–and did so on Calvinist theological grounds, with telling title defenses like, “Slavery Ordained by God.” [12] Should it surprise us that White, Afrikaner Calvinists long used their Calvinist theology of unconditional election and God’s meticulous, sovereign predestination of all things as an aid in identifying themselves as God’s special elect in order to justify racial discrimination and eventual apartheid in South Africa?[13]. John Wesley and Jonathan Edwards were both born in the same year, 1703, and Wesley in particular was not at all a “product of his time” and passionately spoke out against the evils of British and colonial American slavery in tract and speech. On the other hand, in the narrower perspective, God abhors them and commands creatures not to do them. American History: Influential Ministers — Jonathan Edwards. George Whitefield 1739 It is not hyperbole to describe George Whitefield, the English clergyman who riveted colonists with his dramatic evangelical preaching, as a star Edwards was a pastor whose sermons and writings covered an array of subjects/ Whitfield stuck to the basic Gospel message. That goes far beyond garden variety creation ex nihilo or continuous creation. Given a belief in God’s predestination of all things, what other logically consistent conclusion can be drawn if you were a Calvinist in that day? Jonathan Edwards was the only son in a family of eleven children. It is only fair to wonder if Edwards thought the same thing, for he did not own just one slave, he and his family owned numerous slaves. Already a subscriber? How many white people have been destroyed for want of them, and how many thousands of pounds spent to no purpose at all? [10] But to be fair to Edwards his purchase of Venus was made in 1731 and presumably before he deemed the Transatlantic slave trade to be wrong. Dear Brother James, I want to prepare you for a visit from the Rev. Here are the cover stories that online readers read most. Are all of them together stronger than God? As such, who are you, a mere man, to do that? And herein is where the center of my critique will largely focus. But if God be for you, who can be against you? $24.00 softcover Good biographers faithfully present all the facets of the person they are studying. The Great Awakening was a revival of a person’s personal spirituality sparked by Whitefield and Edwards; which de-emphasized the church. Like his contemporary and acquaintance, Jonathan Edwards, Whitefield preached staunchly Calvinist theology that was in line with the "moderate Calvinism" of the Thirty-nine Articles. This leads to another issue, and that is Edwards’ theologically bankrupt position in condemning the Transatlantic slave trade. He also asserted that God is space itself. He could light up a crowd, several times a day, day in and day out. Because of their central role and importance, we shall limit our But it is more likely the case that Edwards felt so strongly that a congregational threat to a fellow minister on the basis of lavish living and slave ownership was a threat against his own livelihood as a slave owning minister. On the other, evangelical heroes including George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards have drawn a steady stream of visitors to their graves and other historical sites. Olson wrote a critique of Edwards and Franklin may have been, had the use of them reflect... Religious toleration true for Doolittle ’ s character is nothing New know a hypocrite for Calvinists. 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