Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

Jonathan Edwards preached perhaps the most powerful single sermon ever delivered on American soil on July 8, 1741.  Edwards was not a spell-binding orator.  He read out his sermons in a fairly lack-lustre tone and rarely looked up at his listeners.  However, this sermon had a major impact on his congregation that day and has resonated in the American psyche ever since.  Hell and Damnation sermons are not in favor, to say the least, in our generation.  However, for earlier generations of Americans Edwards was merely giving a powerful reminder of the terrors that awaited the unrepetant sinner who died without embracing Christ.  It is easy for us to simply deride it as harsh and bleak, full of supernatural terrors that even the religious among us do not dwell upon.  To many Americans of the past the sermon would have been seen as written out of anguished love for sinners doomed to eternal pain if they did not embrace Christ.  The past really is a different country and if one is to understand it, one must understand it on the terms of those who lived then, and not as filtered by our modern sensibilities. (more…)

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Published in: on January 12, 2010 at 6:46 am  Comments Off on Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God  
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