14 January 2009

Religion or Revival?

In his book on the theology of Jonathan Edwards, Lutheran theologian Robert Jenson makes a fascinating side comment.

"It is a fundamental and forgotten fact about America's Christian heritage: revival was not in its founding a means to promote religion; it was the surprising result of a critique of religion."

(Jenson had earlier defined "religion" as "that self-assertion which presumes to be justified otherwise than by faith.")

--Robert W. Jenson, America's Theologian: A Recommendation of Jonathan Edwards (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992), 63; emphasis original.

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