A Classic Study by

Jonathan Edwards (1703Ė1758)

[Here, we reprint an unusual study by the noted evangelist Jonathan Edwards. This study consists solely of questions. No answers are found here to these questions. One might say that the answers are left as an exercise for the reader. The primary goal of my reprinting these questions is to get you to think about these things. The secondary (but no less important) goal is to encourage you to study in order to find the answer to these things. My experience in reading these questions was very humbling. In reading them, I learned how much I do not know. Yet, as Christians, we should know the answer to most of these questions. Many of these questions (in one form or another) are routinely asked by non-believers to believers. And so, by studying and learning the answers to these questions, you would certainly be following Peterís advice to "always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have" (I Peter 3:15).]óEd.

Theological Questions

1. How does it appear that something has existed from eternity?

2. How does it appear that this earth and the visible system are not from eternity?

3. How does it appear that the existence of man is derived and dependent?

4. How do you prove the natural perfections of God, viz. His intelligence, infinite power, foreknowledge, and immutability?

5. How do you prove His moral perfections, that He is a friend of virtue, or absolutely holy, true, just, and good?

6. How do you prove that the Scriptures are a revelation from God? And what are the evidences, internal and external?

7. How do you prove the divine mission of Christ?

8. How do you prove the divinity of Christ?

9. How do you prove the personality and divinity of the Holy Ghost?

10. How do you prove that the persons in the Trinity are one God?

11. Whence arose the Manichean notion of two Gods, and how is it confuted?

12. Whence arose the polytheism of the pagans, and how confuted?

13. Whence was it that the knowledge of the one true God, in which Noah was instructed, was not preserved among his posterity in all ages?

14. Why are not mankind in all ages (their internal faculties and external advantages being sufficient) united in right sentiments of the one true God?

15. Were the moral character of God and the moral law understood and loved, would there be any objections against revealed religion?

16. What is the true idea of Godís decrees?

17. How do you prove absolute and particular election?

18. Did God decree the existence of sin?

19. Why did God decree sin?

20. In what sense did He introduce sin into the universe?

21. How do you reconcile this with the holiness and goodness of God?

22. What is necessary to constitute a moral agent?

23. Are men moral and free agents?

24. What is the difference between natural and moral power, and inability?

25. How is absolute moral necessity, or inability, consistent with the free agency of men?

26. How is the doctrine of universal, absolute decrees, consistent with the free agency of men?

27. How do you prove a universal and special providence?

28. What is the covenant of redemption?

29. If man was created in original righteousness, how is that consistent with moral agency? (It being said that a necessary holiness is no holiness.)

30. What was the constitution under which Adam in innocency was placed?

31. Was Adam under the same necessity of falling that we are of sinning?

32. Are all intelligencies bound to love God supremely, sinners and devils?

33. Is the law holy, just, and good, and how is it proved?

34. Are they, who are under its curse, bound to delight in it?

35. How great is the demerit of sin?

36. Are the torments of hell eternal?

37. How do you reconcile them with the justice and infinite goodness of God?

38. How do you reconcile them with those texts which say Christ died for all men, that God wilt not that any should perish?

39. How does it appear that human nature is originally depraved?

40. Whence comes that depravity?

41. How is it proved to be total?

42. What is the covenant of grace?

43. Are the law and gospel inconsistent with each other?

44. Why was an atonement, and one so precious as the blood of Christ, necessary?

45. In what manner did Christ atone for sin?

46. To whom doth it belong to provide an atonement, God, or the sinner?

47. Did Christ redeem all men alike, elect and non-elect?

48. Can the offer of the gospel be made in sincerity to the non-elect?

49. How is redemption applied?

50. What is the office of the Holy Ghost in the work of redemption?

51. What is regeneration?

52. Whence arises the necessity of it?

53. What is true love to God?

54. What is true benevolence to men?

55. What is true repentance, and how distinguished from legal?

56. What is true faith?

57. What are pardon and justification? What is their foundation, and what is the influence of faith therein?

58. How are full satisfaction and free pardon consistent?

59. Is the sinner forgiven before he repents?

60. Is sanctifying grace needful at all to any man, unless with respect to that which is his duty, and in neglect of which he would be without excuse?

61. What is the sum of manís duty, and what the effect produced by the sanctifying influence of the Holy Spirit?

62. Can that holy volition in us, which is the effect of divine power, be wholly our act, or our duty?

63. How is it proved that unbelief is sin, and that all errors in moral matters are of a criminal nature?

64. Will the wicked heathens, infidels, and errorists of every kind, be without excuse at the day of judgment?

65. What is the essence of true virtue, or holiness?

66. Is there no virtue in the exercise of natural conscience, the moral sense, natural compassion, and generosity?

67. Is not self-love the root of all virtue?

68. Do not the unregenerate desire to be regenerated, and can they not properly pray for regenerating grace?

69. Do they not desire the heavenly happiness?

70. What is the utmost the unregenerate do in the use of the means of grace?

71. Is any duty done by them therein?

72. Do they grow better in the use of means?

73. To what are they to be exhorted?

74. What is the real advantage of the assiduous use of means to the unregenerate?

75. How do you prove that the institution of the Sabbath is of perpetual obligation?

76. How is it that the Sabbath is changed from the seventh to the first day of the week?

77. How do you prove that public worship is to be celebrated on the Sabbath?

78. What is the foundation of the duty of prayer, since God is omniscient and immutable?

79. How do you prove that family prayer is a duty?

80. To whom are the promises of the gospel made, to the regenerate, or unregenerate ?

81. Are no encouragements given to the unregenerate?

82. How do you prove the saintsí perseverance?

83. What is the nature of a Christian church?

84. Who are fit for communion therein?

85. What is the nature and import of baptism?

86. How do you prove infant baptism?

87. What is the nature of the Lordís supper?

88. What are the rules and end of church discipline?

89. What is the character of a good minister of Christ?

90. In what does the happiness of heaven consist?


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