Same Boil, Different Soil

This comes from The Atonement Controversy Introduction written by John Aaron, translator of Owen Thomas’ The Atonement Controversy:In Welsh Theological Literature and Debate, 1707-1841:

“Wales is famous for great preachers but not really noted for great theologians…John Roberts followed the ideas of his tutor and fellow Welshman, Edward Williams of Rotherham, who had himself developed the new ideas crossing the Atlantic and associated in America with the theologians of the New Divinity, men such as Jonathan Edwards Jr., Joseph Bellamy and Samuel Hopkins. It was sometimes known as the Andover Theology after the seminary with which the teaching of Samuel Hopkins was most associated. Christmas Evans, though, as always, in a unique position of his own, was reflecting the views of contemporary English Baptists such as John Gill and John Brine, who themselves had resurrected the ideas of Tobias Crisp from the middle of the seventeenth century. Thomas Jones, on the other hand, followed the classical continental theology of Turretin and Calvin, and was merely upholding the orthodox traditional Reformed position.

These polarized positions were not therefore original. They were repetitions of other arguments fought at previous times and in other places. Thus Thomas Jones and John Roberts were, to some degree, re-living the arguments that had arisen between the American theologians of Princeton and of Andover. Thomas Jones and Christmas Evans were repeating the skirmishes between Andrew Fuller and the Hyper-Calvinistic Baptists of the eighteenth century. Thomas Jones and Owen Davies were reminiscent of Whitefield and the Wesleys. What is unique about the Welsh debates is that all these arguments were occurring within a small geographical compass and within the same period of time. It is as if Gill, Fuller, Archibald Alexander, Hopkins, Toplady, etc. were all living in one small country and engaging together in their various controversies simultaneously” (John Aaron, translater of The Atonement Controversy, pp. xvi-xvii).

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