In  “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” by Johnathan Edwards, what danger do sinners face and what is the only thing that can save them?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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In “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”, Johnathan Edwards is preaching a sermon about the dangers of eternal damnation. He emphasizes the precariousness of the human condition, first comparing sinners to being in the position of walking on a slippery slope on a precipice over an abyss. 

Theologically, Edwards takes a strongly Calvinist position concerning the total depravity of humans. He argues that we are inherently corrupt by nature or Original Sin and cannot attain salvation by our own wills or acts. Instead, we are utterly dependent on the grace of God. 

He illustrates this sense of dependency with the graphic image of a sinner being like a loathsome spider dangling from God's hand by a single thin thread of its web over a burning pit. The only thing that can save sinners is the infinite mercy and compassion of God, that was manifest in the sacrifice of Jesus.