Many scholars believe this work, published in 1754, is the most important argument against Arminianism published in America. Freedom of the Will is divided into four parts. The first deals with terminology; the nature and determination of the will; the meaning of necessity, impossibility, and contingency; the distinction between natural and moral necessity; and the nature of moral agency and liberty. The second considers the possibility of self-determination. The third analyzes divine agency regarding human beings and the world. In the conclusion, Edwards anticipates the reception the work will receive.
Jonathan Edwards (1703–1758) became pastor of the church at Northampton, Massachusetts, in 1729 and remained there for twenty-three years before moving on to missionary work in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
"Pelagianism has a death grip on the modern church. Perhaps the most important refutation of this distinctive is Edwards' Freedom of the Will. I believe this is the most important theological work ever published in America." - R. C. Sproul