In my latest podcast I dealt with the subject of conviction of sin and evangelism. My more immediate focus was on the discussion that took place at a roundtable at a conference called A God Entranched Vision of All Things, Why We Need Jonathan Edwards 300 Years Later. What we need him for, however, is defined by John Piper in this conference. What we don’t need him for, then, is instruction on how to awaken the conscience of sinners outside of Christ. At this point John Piper shows he doesn’t know much about Edwards’ teaching on this subject. Jeremy Walker said it well in his book, The New Calvinism Considered.”
“This movement can be described (slightly inaccurately) as Calvinistic insofar as it maintains a general unity around the notion that God is sovereign in the salvation of sinners. However, in a further twist, one could argue that the true father figure of the new Calvinism is probably more Jonathan Edwards than John Calvin, and even then it is Jonathan Edwards mediated through John Piper. This is significant, not just because of the genuine debates over Edwards’ legacy from outside the movement, but because of the selective way in which Edwards is often presented.”
Walker, Jeremy. The New Calvinism Considered: A personal and pastoral assessment. Evangelical Press. Kindle Edition.
To understand Edwards’ teaching on this point a student must read such sermons as God Makes Men Sensible of His Mercy Before Revealing His Love and Mercy; Pressing Into the Kingdom; and The Manner in Which the Salvation of the Soul is to be Sought.
That which is missing in the New Calvinism is a real emphasis on total inability. (2) The understanding of the innate enmity of the unconverted heart toward God. (3) The use of the moral law in bringing conviction.
In fact, the only law for conviction that Piper emphasizes is Psalm 37:4. He continually states that we are commanded to desire God. He talks about the glory, beauty, awesomeness of God and the great guilt that the sinner has because he doesn’t delight in Him. But you won’t hear any teaching on the fact that the sinner doesn’t delight in God because he positively hates Him and His commandments. Romans 8:7
The audio for that podcast is here. John Piper’s and Jonathan Edwards’s Evangelism Contrasted. https://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=57211743111954