Friday, September 7, 2007

Americanized View of Sovereignty

by JM
"The Puritans in early America dwelt on the sovereignty of God's grace and the inability of sinful individuals to influence God's will. Jonathan Edwards, for example, when he analyzed religious experience made clear that the 'divine and supernatural light' that a Christan perceived was not contingent on the agency of a free human will, but on the prior gracious work of the Holy Spirit who granted the ability to see and respond to that light. After Edwards's time revivalist theology in America moved steadily toward emphasizing the human side of religious experience. This tendency was manifested in various ways of positing the free and decisive character of the human free will. Free will was virtually an American dogma; indeed it was practically an unassailable article of faith for most of Western Culture."

Fundamentalism and American Culture: The Shaping of Twentieth-Century Evangelicalism 1870-1925 George M. Marsden.