Item description for Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God by Jonathan Edwards...
Overview On July 8, 1741, Jonathan Edwards preached the most famous sermon ever delivered in the history of America. The response of the congregation was nothing short of amazing. Before Edwards could finish, people were crying out, "What shall I do to be saved?" Though first delivered 250 years ago, Edwards's most memorable sermon is no less needed today. Far more than a depiction of the punishments of hell, it is a call to personal salvation through Christ and spiritual revival in our time.
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Studio: P & R Publishing
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.32" Width: 5.46" Height: 0.11" Weight: 0.11 lbs.
Release Date Jan 1, 1992
Publisher P & R PUBLISHING #97
ISBN 0875522335 ISBN13 9780875522333
Availability 0 units.
More About Jonathan Edwards
Philip F. Gura is the William S. Newman Distinguished Professor of American Literature and Culture at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the author of Jonathan Edwards: America's Evangelical and American Transcendentalism: A History, among other works, and serves as an editor for the Norton Anthology of American Literature. His newest book is Truth's Ragged Edge: The Rise of the American Novel.
Jonathan Edwards was born in 1703 and died in 1758.
Reviews - What do customers think about Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God?
Short, powerful, vivid imagery, great read Mar 19, 2007
One of the most famous sermons ever given by one of the greatest theologians of our recent time and probably the greatest American-born theologian, this sermon by Jonathan Edwards was intended to be and remains to this day profound and hard-hitting. Invited by the pastor in Enfield, Connecticut to come and speak to his congregation - a collection of apathetic, spirit-less people completely unaffected by the Great Awakening of 1734-35 in New England. Edwards, himself a pastor of the First Church of Northampton, Massachusetts, delivered this message on July 8, 1741 with the object of presenting the truth of the current condition of those outside the saving grace of God as being in peril and subject to the divine wrath of an Almighty and Holy God. It was said that as Edwards spoke, he was interrupted several times by people moaning and crying out, "What must I do to be saved?" And while this sermon has received heavy criticism since that day, it continues to proclaim the awesome wonder of our God and His incredible grace and patience for all mankind.
Edwards begins his sermon with a proper perspective of the state of the nature of man - fallen from divine grace, now subject to divine wrath. He writes, "There is nothing that keeps wicked men out of hell, at any one moment, except the mere pleasure of God." Edwards wants every man to know that their sin has condemned them to an eternity without God and writes, "As the heart is now a cesspool of sin, so if sin were not restrained, it would immediately turn the soul into a fiery oven, or a furnace of fire and brimstone." Using incredibly visual imagery, Edwards warns the unrepentant that their own efforts are worthless and insignificant at best to prevent their eventual demise into the pit of hell. "Your wickedness makes you as heavy as lead; it drives you down, with great weight and pressure, toward hell. And if God were to let you go, you would immediately sink and swiftly descend and plunge into the bottomless gulf. At that moment, you will see that your health, your own care and prudence, your best contrivance, and all your righteousness, have no more influence to uphold you and keep you out of hell, than a spider's web has to stop a falling rock."
Edwards ends by sounding his clarion call to all sinners - that their fate is an eternity without the grace of God. "When you look forward, you will see a long forever, a boundless duration before you, which will swallow up your thoughts and amaze your soul; and you will absolutely lose all hope or confidence of ever having any deliverance, any end, any mitigation, any rest at all."
This short, but powerful, sermon is an excellent reminder of God's sovereignty and His grace and mercy - as John Newton near the end of his life said, "My memory is nearly gone, but I remember two things: that I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Savior." Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God will be such a reminder to those who know the grace of God and will be a sound and clear warning to all others of their pending fate.
Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God Aug 18, 2006
This classic can be a life changer for the person who thinks he can get to heaven by being good. When Jonathan Edwards preached this message he had "nominal" church going Christians falling on their knees in repentence and in fear of Hell. He tells of God's grace and the way to heaven through Jesus Christ.
Accountability before a Holy God meets Mercy from God Jul 26, 2006
Edward's sermon is about the grace of God. It is about accountability before a Holy and Just God who hates sin and, because He is Holy and Just as well as Merciful and Loving (two sides of the same coin), demands accountability for our sins. He also provided a way for our sins to be paid in full when Jesus, His only begotten Son, willingly came and took the penalty for our sins. The law convicts us of the sentence we need to be spared from (the fires of hell). Grace is Christ taking our sins upon himself and suffering our punishment so that we can be spared from the awful sentence we deserve for violating God's Holy and Just laws. Edwards is merely pointing that out. Preachers who candy coat the gospel would do well to stop letting their congregations slide into hell and preach the whole gospel.
Devils hate it. Jun 29, 2006
I was terrified when I heard this sermon. I'm highly recommended this to everyone, especially to those who is thinking they have plans to avoid final Judgment. If you can know what's next after 5 minutes, you won't need to care for your future, but we don't know what our future is holding at all. That's why we all need God. Simply because He holds our future.
Historical artifact Apr 3, 2006
I've rated this sermon according to its apparent value as a historical artifact. I don't think it would be fair for me to rate it as a sermon per se. But that doesn't prevent my having an opinion.
I am curious about the community which reacted so strongly to the approach taken in this sermon. Was it representative of the populace in general, or was there some unique characteristic or circumstance that could explain the extreme response? The intro as I recall states that the community was considered a "hard case" unlikely to respond favorably to invocations to godliness, so I think something must have occurred to create a (temporary?) vulnerability to the fear-based call to spiritual revival that this sermon represents. I wonder what it was?
On a more personal note, the tone of the sermon reminds me of the type of rant that struck terror into my youthful heart as an involuntary member of a southern fundamentalist church decades ago. At that period in American history, we were as likely to be threatened by immanent violent invasion of our homes by cadres of godless communists who would drag us into our yards and torture us into renouncing God, as by hellfire after our miserable lives were over.
My impression is that the popularity of this genre of sermon continues, with more contemporary nightmares from the socio-political demonic pantheon substituted for the now largely irrelevant godless communists of my childhood. People have been so immersed in video over-stimulation that hellfire imagery isn't quite enough to stir the baser passions now. But, when fear-conditioning has been so effective in manipulating the multitudes, the pitch is too good to give up. Emotional manipulation rules in every age, and with a little modification in technical details the rant lives on.
Don't think that I doubt the good intentions of many of those who take the rant approach. I am sure that most are convinced that freaking the heck out of honest hardworking folks who have taken time out of their busy care-wracked lives to listen courteously to them, is somehow going bring them up short and make them live more righteous lives and therefore do them good and get them into heaven.
And, can I be sure that it does not really help in some cases? For one thing, as I recall there's a kind of psychological catharsis after extreme fear that emotionally refreshes, makes one feel cleansed and new. Surely that's better than a descent into addiction and despair? Also, it may be that some of us are dependent on a regular dose of threat / fear for sufficient motivation to live in a decent, non-predatory way. If this is the case, I cannot say there is no social benefit from the occassional rant.
But I do not think there is spiritual benefit from it, neither for rant-er (who develops a bullying, dictatorial tendency) nor for rant-ee (who becomes inwardly servile and dependent). Neither bullying nor servility provide fertile soil for spiritual development. Indulgence of either tendency interferes with the experience of humility, stunting both heart and mind.
This is a highly personal conviction, rooted in recollection of the terror I felt at the flood of vicious images invoked in the "sermons" I endured as a child. As I grew older I found such rants increasingly repulsive and inconsistent with core Christian teachings. Fear was strong but ultimately impotent; years before I left home for college it could no longer suppress conscious acknowledgement of my fundamental doubt that god existed.
This sad history has a happy resolution: My doubt was overcome through years of consideration, contemplation, and prayer. I am confident that God does exist, and equally confident that God is NOT pleased with those who use the noble teaching of Christ as a stick to beat people down.
I have noticed that great Christian teachers whose legacies have endured for centuries tend to emphasize love more than fear. Billy Graham is a familiar example of the success of this approach. Though he may be forgotten entirely in a generation or less, there's no doubting his contemporary influence. He is much more widely known and respected than any member of the rant crowd.
It is easy to understand why! Life breaks our hearts sometimes. When our faith is at its lowest ebb, naturally, instinctively, we seek hope and encouragement, a glimpse of divine light. Ranters simply cannot deliver.