Dec 31, 2008

Gerstner on Edwards

John H. Gerstner, an authority on the life and theology of Jonathan Edwards, wrote:

"Effectual calling, conversion, repentance, and regeneration were approximately synonymous terms for Edwards. An important statement in Original sin shows the identity of the last three terms."

Gerstner then cites Edwards (see my previous entry for a more lengthy citation) where Edwards made this clear, citing these words:

"I put repentance and conversion together, as the Scripture puts them together, Acts iii. 19, and because they plainly signify much the same thing. The word metanoia (repentance) signifies a change of the mind; as the word conversion means a change or turning from sin to God. And that this is the same change with that which is called regeneration (excepting that this latter term especially signifies the change, as the mind is passive in it), the following things do show...."

What does Gerstner say in response?

"This is a rather unfortunate and unscientific way of proceeding. While it is true that Scripture tends to use these different terms synonymously, there are significant differences."

See here

No, what is "unfortunate" is the fact that Gertsner would think that Edwards, though using these terms as did the NT writers, was in error and "unscientific"! I am sure that today's neo Hardshell hyperist Calvinists, of the "reformed" variety, would also say that the words and teachings of Edwards on regeneration and conversion, though scriptural, are not "refined" enough, for he did not disect the new birth up into stages and teach that men were born again before they were converted.

Today's "reformed" Calvinists who promote the "born again before faith" error, men like Gene Bridges, arrogantly think they are the "refiners" of the teachings of men like Calvin, Edwards, Alexander and other leading lights in Calvinism, not to mention the many of the Baptist and Puritan traditions.

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