WAS EDWARD IRVING

A HERETIC?

By

David Malcolm Bennett

 

Edward Irving the pre-Victorian Scottish preacher was accused of heresy concerning the humanity of Jesus Christ, and eventually was found guilty of that charge and dismissed from his denomination.  It is my opinion that Irving was not a heretic. His view of Christ's humanity may have been right or it may have been wrong., but it was not heretical. Irving's main point was that the flesh of Jesus of Nazareth was the same as our flesh. There was no difference between the two. Our Lord's flesh was thus theoretically corruptible. Irving was saying that Jesus' flesh was the same as Adam's after the Fall, not before it. 

 

However, Irving made it very clear that he believed that Jesus had never sinned. He said it many times.  Jesus was pure, He was holy and He was sinless. In fact, Jesus was kept from sin by the power of the Holy Spirit in Him. Irving  also said that Jesus was not subject to original sin.

 

Unfortunately, some of Irving's language used to describe our Lord's humanity was controversial and open to being misunderstood. It sometimes sounded as though he was saying Jesus was sinful. But a fair reading of what Irving said, makes it clear that he repeatedly claimed that Jesus was sinless.

 

More details are found in my book "Edward Irving Reconsidered."

 

Copyright: David Malcolm Bennett (2014)

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