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New England Theology.

1. Federal* theol. helped form the thought of New Eng. Puritanism. In 1648 the Cambridge (Massachusetts) Syn. (1646–48) approved in substance the doctrinal parts, but not the arts. on discipline, of the Westminster Confession, replaced in Massachusetts 1680, Connecticut 1708, by a modified Savoy Declaration. See also Democratic Declarations of Faith, 2.

2. New Eng. Theol., which dominated New Eng. Congregationalism till ca. the middle of the 19th c. and may be dated from a 1734 sermon of J. Edwards* the Elder, developed in opposition against a decline in doctrine and morals.

3. J. Edwards* the Elder opposed Arminianism* with a modified Calvinism* that emphasized the unworthiness of man and his complete dependence on God.

4. Successors of J. Edwards* the Elder include J. Edwards* the Younger, who developed the New* Eng. Theory of Atonement; Joseph Bellamy (1719–90; exponent of the views of J. Edwards the Elder; works include True Religion Delineated and The Wisdom of God in the Permission of Sin; see also Ministry, Education of, VI A); S. Hopkins* (works include The System of Doctrines, Contained in Divine Revelation, Explained and Defended); Nathanael Emmons (Nathaniel; 1745 [1746?]–1840; held that all “exercises” of the will [holiness and sin] are caused by the divine efficiency of First Cause; see also Ministry, Education of, VI A); Edward(s) Amasa Park (1808–1900; b. Providence, R. I.; prof. Andover [Massachusetts] Theol. Sem.; ed. Bibliotheca sacra; other works include Discourses on Some Theological Doctrines). See also Taylor, Nathaniel William.

5. New Eng. Theol. spread rapidly in Cong. chs. in New Eng. and westward and was favored by many in other Calvinistic chs. The movement founded Andover (Massachusetts) Theol. Sem. (1807/08), the Theol. Dept. of Yale U., New Haven, Connecticut (1822), and Hartford (Connecticut) Theol. Sem. (1833/34).

Adherents of New Eng. Theol. deviated from the old Calvinistic system in holding, e.g., (1) Predestination secures the certainty of man's choices but not their necessity; (2) Adam's guilt is not imputed to his descendants but as a result of his transgression man is constituted to choose wrong instead of right; (3) Christ did not suffer the exact penalty of the Law but pains substituted for that penalty and designed to secure moral govt.; (4) justification does not involve transfer of Christ's righteousness to the believer but forgiveness for Christ's sake and treatment of man as if innocent or holy; (5) Regeneration is either active or passive, or both, and either instantaneous or gradual, a restoration of life-communion with God; (6) The elect can fall after regeneration but never will.

G. N. Boardman, A History of New England Theology (New York, 1899); F. H. Foster, A Genetic History of the New England Theology (Chicago, 1907); P. Y. De Jong, The Covenant Idea in New England Theology, 1620–1847 (Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1945).

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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