Jonathan Edwards' Sermons

A Merciful God from Violent Imagery College

In 1742, Jonathan Edwards undertook the task of crafting a sermon that would be powerful in the eyes of both believers and unbelievers. The result exists today as his sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” The sermon differs from traditional sermons both of his time and in modern times. Rather than depicting the merciful and loving God of the Christian faith, Edwards brings to light a wrathful and angry God. He takes a look into the human condition while justifying the wrath of God. However, this is not the image of God that one is intended to take away from this message. While the language and imagery of the sermon were intended to cause feelings of hopelessness and fear, these are not the emotions that Edwards intended his audience to leave with. In his sermon, Edwards identifies the human condition and man’s depravity while justifying the building wrath of God only to use such harsh and violent imagery to paint a picture of a merciful and just God.

Edwards uses oversimplification and imagery to establish the human situation and man’s depravity. His first set of points establishes the dire situation of all human beings. He establishes a world where the possibility of destruction is ever-present and where a man “that...

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