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Heat and Light

jonathan edwards

“Jonathan Edwards preached an ordination sermon in 1744 on the text about John the Baptist, ‘He was a burning and a shining light.’ (John 5:35). His main point was that a preacher must burn and shine. There must be heat in the heart and light in the mind–and no more heat than justified by the light.”

sinners sermon I think that this is interesting, based on the unfounded assumption that Jonathan Edwards in his sermon on “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” was totally playing on the emotions of the hearers. (The reports say that people hung onto the pillars of the church so that they would not fall into hell, the descriptions were so vivid).

But John Piper (who wrote the first paragraph) says this is absolutely not so. He states, “Edwards can never be brought forward as an example of one who manipulated emotions. He treated his hearers as creatures of reason & sought to move their hearts only by giving the light of truth to the mind.”

That balance of heat and light was what was so effective in that which many say is America’s most famous sermon.

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