/ Matthew Everhard

Was Jonathan Edwards a 5-Point Calvinist?

I have had quite a few people ask me about whether or not Jonathan Edwards was a 5-point Calvinist.

Some folks who have studied Edwards even a little bit know that he held to some – well –  strange and unusual views, particularly with reference to idealism and occasionalism. In my view, however, most of those accusations of heterodoxy are largely overblown, as Edwards felt no hesitancy or restrictions to think freely and creatively in his private notebooks and personal writings. Sometimes it's even hard to tell what Edwards actually believed in his notebooks because he explores quite a few ideas on paper. He seems to have always thought best with a pen in hand.

When it comes to his official doctrinal views, however, those expressed in his public sermons and major debate treatises, it is rather easily demonstrated that Edwards was orthodox when it comes to the doctrines of Calvinism, especially the anachronistically labeled "Five Points."

Though the TULIP acronym was coined by another and not Calvin himself, there can be no doubt that Edwards affirmed all five points explicitly. He does so intentionally and purposefully in the conclusion of his magnum opus, The Freedom of the Will. Though I personally view this book as one of his hardest to understand (and I don't honestly enjoy it as much as other works of JE), he is clear enough on his views on the 5 Points.

In this video, I will take you through his main arguments in Freedom of the Will, as well as his indisputable support of the traditional TULIP doctrines:

Matthew Everhard

Matthew Everhard

Matthew Everhard is the pastor of Gospel Fellowship PCA in Valencia, PA. He is also a Jonathan Edwards scholar and has written a number of books, and articles. He hosts a popular YouTube channel.

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