Daniel D. Whedon, "The Freedom of the Will as a Basis of Human Responsibility and a Divine Government:" (1864) has been reprinted by Wipf & Stock (Eugene, OR: 2009). 354 pages ISBN: 978-1-55635-981-1.
Dr. Vic Reasoner
THE ARMINIAN MAGAZINE. Issue 2. Fall 2009. Volume 27.
Now that Time has declared the new Calvinism as one of the ten ideas that are changing the world [23 March 2009], we need all available Arminian resources at our disposal. Whedon served as editor of the Methodist Quarterly Review from 1856-1884 and is more famous for his commentary. Thanks to editor John D. Wagner for making available this Wesleyan response to Jonathan Edwards. However, the earlier Methodist position was that the will was corrupted by the Fall and that man could will to do right only under the influence of prevenient grace. Wesley declared, "Since the fall, no child of man has a natural power to choose anything that is truly good" [Works, 10:350]. In contrast, semi-Pelagianism holds that we are fallen, but retain free will and the ability to seek God apart from any special grace.
Daniel Steele felt that Whedon and John Miley had undermined the doctrine of original sin by their stress on responsible guilt and freedom [The Gospel of the Comforter, p. 288; see also Chiles, Theological Transitions in American Methodism, p. 199]. Thus, while this reprint has historic value, it is not our best resource in rebutting Calvinism.