What is the main theme of "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God?"

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bcsaund eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" is a sermon delivered by Jonathan Edwards during the Great Awakening. Edwards is literally trying to use fear as a motivator to get his audience to come back to God whole heartedly. In simple terms, his theme/message is that if his audience (the sinners) does not do this, then they will be punished by God at any moment. Edwards is effective in this sermon by relating the abstract to concrete things people are familiar with. For example, he describes God's wrath, an abstract concept, to damned waters, a drawn bow and arrow, and a dreadful storm, all concrete items. He also creates a sense of urgency with his message by saying he doesn't know why God has not already taken these sinners to Hell; there is no explanation so they need to act now before it is too late.  

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Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

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