Original Sin, Humility, and Love: Recovering Jonathan Edwards for Contemporary Theology

Jonathan Edwards’ understanding of original sin as unrestrained self-interest, humility as central to Christian character and love as the essence of God are not fully realized theological ideals within Edwards’ theology but do hold promise for the development of a contemporary evangelical theological Anthropology. Edwards’ theology is ahead of its time in terms of its understanding of self-interested power as the basis of sin and the importance of practices in the life of the Christian that move away from self-interest and power toward self-denial and surrender as key evidence of the Christian life. These principles in Edwards have potential for answering contemporary questions of power, privilege, and Christian engagement with systems of power. This paper will explore how these ideas are evidenced in Edwards’ theology and suggest ways they may work as the beginning points for contemporary theological reflections on both the doctrine of anthropology and its resulting ethical implications.

3 thoughts on “Original Sin, Humility, and Love: Recovering Jonathan Edwards for Contemporary Theology”

  1. not fully realized ideals
    The proposal acknowledges that these concepts were not fully realized ideals in Edwards, yet he builds his superstructure upon them. It seems like a shaky foundation, & perhaps using Edwards in addressing issues he could not have foreseen.

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