The podcast East of Eden: The Biblical and Systematic Theology of Jonathan Edwards inaugurates the series with a close reading of the sermon “East of Eden” which Edwards preached in the summer of 1731 to his congregation in Northampton, MA. In this sermon Edwards expounds on Adam, the covenant of works, and the Fall. Here we see Edwards the covenant and biblical theologian at his best. Notable is the clear presence of the idea, later expressed by Geerhardus Vos, that “eschatology precedes soteriology.” God offered to Adam a glorious Sabbath rest of confirmed righteousness if only he would be obedient to God’s command that he and Eve not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Especially memorable is the conclusion that the only way back into paradise with God would be for the second Adam to pass under the flaming sword God set to bar the way of the first Adam from gaining access to the tree of life.
We turn to pages 245–250 of Geerhardus Vos’s book Biblical Theology: Old and New Testaments to discuss the prophet’s view of God’s holiness. Vos contrasts