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Fullness Received and Returned

Trinity and Participation in Jonathan Edwards

By Sen-Kong Tan

Publication Year: 2014

Seng-Kong Tan argues that human participation in the divine —a classical theological axiom most notably associated with the Eastern Orthodox tradition—is a central theme in the theology of Jonathan Edwards. This notion, Tan contends, is found in the Trinitarian self-giving and self-communication of God and actualized in the historical event of the incarnation. As such, it is a defining motif for the entire systematic sweep of Edwards’ theology, which Tan utilizes to focus and unpack the contours of Edwards’ theology. Fullness Received and Returned situates Edwards’ thought within the folds of the classical theological tradition, while arguing that Edwards’ is a unique and creative form of Reformed theology.

Published by: Augsburg Fortress Publishers

Series: Emerging Scholars

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-iv


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pp. v-vi


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. 1-4

Echoing the Apostle Peter, Jonathan Edwards claims that “being partakers of the divine nature” is not only a soteriological benefit that is “peculiar to the saints,” but also “one of the highest privileges of the saints.”1 Human participation in the divine life is, therefore, a central theme in Edwards’s soteriology and a...

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1: Communication of Being Ad Intra

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pp. 5-50

Human participation in God through divine self-communication ad extra is grounded in Edwards’s doctrine of self-communication within the Deity. How does he conceive of this divine self-communication ad intra, both among the divine persons and between the divine essence and persons? We shall begin by...

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2: Communication of Being Ad Extra

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pp. 51-96

Previously, we examined Edwards’s postulation of an eternal movement of emanation and remanation in the eternal procession of the Spirit ad intra. This mode of self-communication of essence within God is the basis of the telos of created reality. In this chapter, we will look at how Edwards uses the doctrines...

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3: Trinitarian Action and Communication in Redemption and the Incarnation

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pp. 97-142

The entry of sin into the world does not annul the oeconomical purpose of God to communicate the Trinitarian fullness. But it does mean that the way to the end has to be modified through another eternal determination—the covenant of redemption. In this chapter, we shall look at how a consistent trinitarianism...

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4: Hypostatic Union

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pp. 143-186

Previously, we looked at the pactum salutis as God’s election to selfcommunicate ad extra in view of the Fall. Central to this Trinitarian decree was the incarnation of the Son, whose being was constituted through the specific modus operandi of the triune persons. In this chapter, we shift our focus to the...

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5: Communication of Properties, Works,and Grace in the Person of Christ as Mediated by the Spirit

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pp. 187-230

We have seen how Edwards’s Spirit-mediated Logos Christology functions primarily within an Alexandrian framework, refracted through Reformed lenses. From that foundational Logos-sarx relation, Christ’s human nature participates in the personhood, existence, and operations of the divine Word...

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6: Unio Cum Christo

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pp. 231-280

Just as the unio hypostatica is central to Edwards’s Christology, so the unio mystica is foundational to his soteriology. “By virtue of the believer’s union with Christ, he doth really possess all things. . . . I mean that God three in one, all that he is, and all that he has, and all that he does, all that he has made or done—the...

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7: Self-Communication of the Holy Spirit as the Church’s Participation in the Divine Nature

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pp. 281-328

As we have seen, the saints’ Spirit-mediated >em>unio cum Christo enables their participation in the beneficia Christi. In this chapter, we look in greater detail at that real, progressive, and vital union in Christ whereby sanctification is wrought in a person by the Holy Spirit. Edwards regards the continuum of...

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8: Conclusion of Salvation

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pp. 329-352

In the order of time, Edwards acknowledges that grace precedes glory.1 Although human friendship or communion is “one of the highest sorts of pleasures,” Edwards regards our eternal happiness or glorification, in enjoying and loving God, as infinitely greater.2 But more than that, sanctification is...

Appendix 1

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pp. 353-356

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Appendix 2: The Doctrine ofAutotheos in Calvin and theReformed Tradition

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pp. 357-360

John Calvin introduced the idea that though the Father is the ultimate origin of the subsistences of the Son and Spirit, nonetheless all three persons possess the divine essence of themselves.1 What prompted this novel move? He was trying neither to pit Western against Eastern trinitarianism nor to set one...

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Appendix 3: Doctrine ofAppropriations as Modifiedby the Reformed-PuritanTradition

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pp. 361-364

Appropriations may be applied nonexclusively to the indivisible work of the Trinity ad extra, in which some likeness is perceived between that work and the propium of a particular divine person. A common role or attribute may be appropriated in a threefold manner to the divine persons, but chiefly to...

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Appendix 4: The Enhypostaton-Anhypostaton Dialectic

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pp. 365-374

Much scholarly debate has been generated over Friedrich Loofs’s misinterpretation of the notion of enypostatos in his seminal study of Leontius of Byzantium.1 Apparently, Loofs thought of it as an ontological process of “insubsistence” (enhypostaton) whereby a human nature without personhood...

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Appendix 5: Genus Maiestaticum

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pp. 375-386

Largely a development of Cyrillian Christology, the doctrine of the communicatio idiomatum, variously termed the communication of idioms, attributes, or properties, serves to clarify the relations between the natures in the person of Christ.1 While the subsequent Western tradition took over the...

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Appendix 6: God’s Intrinsicand Declarative Glory in theReformed-Puritan Tradition

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pp. 387-388

The Reformed-Puritan tradition distinguished gloria from glorificatio.1 Furthermore, glorificatio is distinguished in both its objective and subjective aspects as divine revelation and human participation in God.2 In Owen’s distinction, there is a real manifestation of the divine essential glory, which...

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Appendix 7: Divine Energeia in the Eastern and Western Traditions

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pp. 389-394

Duncan Reid traces two contrasting interpretations of Aristotle’s notion of energeia In the East, the Aristotelian categories were developed to distinguish between ousia and energeia, by interpreting dunamis and energeia as virtually identical.1 The terms energeia and energein were transmitted to the West largely...

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 395-434


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pp. 435-445

Back Cover

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p. BC-BC

E-ISBN-13: 9781451472424
E-ISBN-10: 1451472420
Print-ISBN-13: 9781451469325
Print-ISBN-10: 1451469322

Page Count: 528
Publication Year: 2014

Series Title: Emerging Scholars