Beyond the Half-Way Covenant
Almost everyone has heard of Jonathan Edwards, but very few are familiar with Solomon Stoddard, Edwards's grandfather. Stoddard was an influential force in New England Puritanism, often referred to as the "Pope" of the Connecticut Valley of western Massachusetts. He was a powerful preacher who saw five (possibly six) revivals during his fifty-eight-year pastorate in Northampton. Yet, he has often been marginalized because of his very unique view of the Lord's Supper as a "converting ordinance." This book explores Stoddard's view of Communion as compared to the changing face of Puritanism reflected in the Half-Way Covenant, and in the context of his passionate desire to convert the sinner by any means at his disposal. He believed that God was so gracious and sovereign that no one could judge whether a person was elect or not. Consequently, he crafted an evangelical theology based upon the preaching of the gospel and viewed the Lord's Supper as another form of preaching for the conversion of sinners.
David Paul McDowell