McDowell, David Paul. Beyond the Half-Way Covenant: Solomon Stoddard’s Understanding of the Lord’s Supper as a Converting Ordinance. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2012
Almost everyone has heard of Jonathan Edwards, but very few are familiar with Solomon Stoddard, Jonathan’s grandfather. Stoddard was an infuential force in New England Puritanism, often referred to as the “Pope” of the Connecticut Valley of Westerm Massachusetts. He was a powerful preacher who saw five (probably six) revivals during his fifty-eight year pastorate in Northampton. Yet, he has often been marginalized because of his very unique view of the Lord’s Supper as a “converting ordinance.” This book explores Stoddard’s misunderstood view of Communion as compared to the changing face of Puritanism reflected in the Half-Way Covenant, and in the context of his passionate desire to see the sinner converted by all possible means. Consequently, he crafted an evangelical theology based upon the preaching of the gospel and viewed the Lord’s Supper as another means of preaching for the conversion of sinners.
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