Andy Naselli draws attention to a passage in Michael J. McClymond and Gerald R. McDermott, The Theology of Jonathan Edwards, in which the authors show that Edwards felt the need to explain the rationality of the atonement against the following charges of the deists:-
- that justice could be satisfied by earnest human efforts,
- that God was not obligated to fulfill his threats, and
- that the merits of one person could not be imputed to another.
Against the second of these – the presumption that God does not have to fulfill his threat to Adam and his descendants that they “would surely die” (Gen.…