In "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" what are Jonathan Edwards's views of God, Christ, and humanity?

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To Edwards, God is perfect and cannot stand sin. Edwards refers to sinners as being lowly creatures, like spiders, whose lives are only preserved through God's grace. This is not to deny that God is loving; rather, it is to say that God's perfection cannot stand man's imperfections. One pictures...

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To Edwards, God is perfect and cannot stand sin. Edwards refers to sinners as being lowly creatures, like spiders, whose lives are only preserved through God's grace. This is not to deny that God is loving; rather, it is to say that God's perfection cannot stand man's imperfections. One pictures God as a stern judge who does not play favorites when reading the sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God."

Edwards's view on humanity is that a human's life is rather fragile and is only preserved through the mercies of God. Edwards believes that if humanity received what it deserved, then all humans would be damned due to their wickedness. One views mankind as being one breath away from damnation when reading the sermon.

Edwards's view on Christ is that Christ's grace and mercies are the only way into Heaven. Christ offers the only way to salvation, and it is only through his purity and sacrifice that humans can escape judgment. Edwards calls upon his listeners to accept salvation, to turn their lives around and accept Christ, in order to avoid the damnation of Hell and the final judgment.

The power of this sermon is not only in how Edwards views God, Christ, and humanity but also in the imagery he uses to get his points across. Edwards's sermon has value not only for people studying Christianity in early America but also for writers looking to improve their use of imagery.

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The title of the sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" gives a good idea of Edwards's views on God and humanity; the relationship between these two subjects forms the bulk of the text. In Edwards's eyes, humans are all sinners—there is no such creature as a righteous man. We are all in terrible and continual danger of hell, the fate we deserve for our impurity.

God, however, is absolute purity. In one of the most striking images of the sermon, he holds the sinner over the fires of hell as one of us might hold a spider over a fire. We are disgusted by the spider, and there is really nothing preventing us from dropping it into the flames. This is just as much a comment on God's purity as it is on humanity's sinfulness. God's eyes, says Edwards, are so pure that he cannot bear to have such sinful creatures in his sight.

Christ is the solution to this appalling situation. He is the only hope of salvation, since only by accepting his grace can the sinner approach the purity of God. Edwards presents this grace as an extraordinary opportunity, almost too good to be true, and says that huge numbers of people are flocking to Christ as he speaks. Those who do not seize upon his grace immediately remain in terrible danger.

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Edwards views of...

God: He is the ultimate power who has every right to hold man accountable for sin. Sin makes Him jealous and that causes His wrath. At Edwards' moment of writing, he viewed God as ready to allow His wrath to punish man at any moment. He articulated the power of God's wrath by comparing it to storms, arrows, and a powerful hand ready to drop man in the pit of Hell. God's primary role discussed in this sermon would be the Punisher.

Christ: Only cited in the very end, Christ is the means by which believers can be saved. His act of death on a cross paid for sin but Edwards encouraged that believers must accept that concept as truth and welcome the grace offered from his sacrificial gift. To complete the welcome, believers must reciprocate with obedience to the tenants of the bible. Christ's specific role is Savior.

Humanity: This lost group of people are incapable of saving themselves according to Edwards. He paints their rebellion to God as rampant. Man cannot attain heaven without Christ and must come to him. The role of man is God's creation and longed for worshippers.

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