Date of Award

Spring 2002

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Carey, Patrick W.

Second Advisor

Hagen, Kenneth

Third Advisor

Coffey, David


My personal motivation for undertaking to study Jonathan Edwards' soteriology springs from my own "delightful conviction" regarding the absolute sovereignty of the holy and benevolent God. Like Edwards, I fought against this doctrine tooth and nail during my years as an undergraduate at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, and the following four years as a graduate student at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. What horror, thought I, if God should bind me to His electing grace? What injustice, I cried, should my will not be sovereign in choosing my own eternal destiny! Yet during the fourteen months between my completion of my masters thesis and my matriculation at Marquette University to pursue doctoral studies in Historical Theology, I experienced a sort of Edwardsean ''wonderful alteration" to my own mind, such that by September, while enrolled in a doctoral seminar on the theology of Martin Luther under the guidance of Dr. Kenneth Hagen, I was alarmed to find myself defending Luther's positions on the human will in "The Freedom of the Christian" and "The Bondage of the Will." At the same time, I found myself supporting his epistemological positions in "The Heidelberg Disputation." Since that time, having completed seminars on both Calvin and Edwards as well as an independent study on Puritan theology, what was then a "conviction" has truly become a "delightful conviction."...



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