Phil recently defended his doctoral dissertation at ETF, and you may watch his defense in the video above. His dissertation is entitled Jonathan Edwards on Freedom of Perfection: Establishing the Shift Away from the Classic-Reformed Tradition of Freedom of the Will. I highly recommend watching the defense in its entirety. It is both fascinating and informative. If you’re at all like me, it will make you want to learn more and to get a copy of the dissertation and read it for yourself. The book will be available in the fall of 2016 as a part of the series New Directions in Jonathan Edwards Studies, by Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht. Given the defense above, I suspect that it will become essential reading for anyone interested in the theology of Jonathan Edwards. I also suspect that, even if many still side with Edwards’ view, they may be forced by Phil’s work to acknowledge that they stand outside Classic-Reformed theology when they do so. I think I certainly need to study the issue again in a much deeper way and to reassess my own view in the light of Scripture.
After messaging with Phil, he has stressed that it should be kept in mind while watching the video that he is only making the claim that Edwards turned from the classic-Reformed tradition on the topic of “freedom of the will,” not on other topics, such as union with Christ, the Covenants, etc.