How does the description of God in Jonathan Edwards' sermon compare with the God of religions you are familiar with?
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Johnathan Edwards portrays God as a vengeful, angry God who, at any time, can take a person's life at will. He is portrayed as a God who does not tolerate sin and who will crush sinners. This God portrayed by Edwards is very different from the God that my particular denomination, Methodism, portrays. God is not an angry God. He is forgiving and kind and loving. No sin is unforgivable and any sin can be forgiven as long as one asks to be forgiven. Edwards portrays God as a God to fear and that should leave us quaking in our proverbial boots, so to speak. That fear alone should scare people into not committing sin, according to Edwards. In my denomination, God is to be feared, yes, but not to that extent. God is more forgiving and kind and gentle.
I am most familiar with Christianity, specifically Evangelicalism. I grew up hearing about God's love, mercy, and forgiveness. Edwards focuses on God's hatred of sin and the wrath and judgement that await the sinner. Before I read this sermon I had never thought of God as an "angry" God, but the more I study it, the more I realize that Edwards is also portraying God as just and merciful, since it is "God's Hand" that is keeping the sinner from Hell. Edwards was definitely very persuasive, and his rhetorical techniques are very effective. His horrifying metaphors and extreme imagery are very different from what I hear preached today.
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