Believers Only— Jonathan Edwards And Communion -- By: Mark E. Dever
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Believers Only— Jonathan Edwards And Communion*
* This is the third article in the four-part series “A Puritan Vision of the Church,” delivered as the W. H. Griffith Thomas Lectures at Dallas Theological Seminary, February 4-
Mark E. Dever is Senior Pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington, DC, and President of 9Marks.
The Reformers held that two essential marks of the church were the right preaching of the Word and the right administration of the sacraments. On this there was unity between them and the generations that were to follow. And yet, inside this unity there was great diversity concerning how this was to be carried out. This is apparent in the ecclesiology of the Anglican Puritan Richard Sibbes and of the sort-of Baptist John Bunyan. Sibbes, Bunyan, and now Edwards each set out different guardrails, first against one problem and then against another, in the interest of keeping the church on track.
Jonathan Edwards came from a long-living family. His father died at
Jonathan Edwards is one of the most well-known figures from the Puritan movement. Less well-known is that he was fired from his church, and still less widely understood is why.
In brief, Jonathan Edwards came to have controversial views
BSac 172:687 (July-September 2015) p. 260
on communion.1 The setting for the controversy was a church already frayed by tensions between the pastor and some of the church’s leading families. In what has been called “the Bad Book Case” in
Edwards continued to pastor the church and write prolifically, producing most notably A Treat...
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