It has long been thought that Edwards's polemical arguments were aimed against Arminianism - a doctrine that denied the Calvinist idea of predestination. In this book, Gerald McDermott shows that Edwards's real target was a larger and more influential one, namely deism - the belief in a creator God who does not intervene in His Creation. To Edwards's mind, deism was the logical conclusion of most, if not all, schemes of divinity that appropriated Enlightenment tenets. McDermott argues that Edwards was an inclusivist who came to realize that salvation was open to peoples beyond the hearing of the Christian gospel.
Gerald R. McDermott is the Jordan-Trexler Professor of Religion at Roanoke College and Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion.