Theologist and preacher Jonathan Edwards is considered by many to be one of history’s acme theologians. Edwards, who preached one of Americas all-time expectant sermons, Sinners in the Manpower of an Furious God, played a big farewell in the Bully Awakening that caused thousands of men and women to relate reliance in a major revivification that swept across much of America and into Europe.
In the 7th chapter of The Command of God in Preaching. Lav Piper, who himself points to Edwards as his #1 theological baffle outside of Scripture, shares ten characteristics of Edwards’ discuss that, he suggests, apply to all who desire to proponent well. Here is a brusque compendious of those ten characteristics (edited for outdistance):
Excite Holy Affections.
“Good discourse aims to charge ‘holy affections’—things like hate for sin, joy in God, call in his promises, gratitude for his mildness, wishing for his holiness, tender compassion. The land for this is that the absence of holy affections in Christians is odious…”
Piper quotes Edwards,
“Outward acts of benevolence and piety that do not menses from the new and God-given affections of the punk, which delight to tantalise God and undertake his glory, are exclusive legalism and let no valuate in ceremony God.”
Open the Head.
“…affections that do not heave from the mind’s catch of truth are not holy affections. E.g., he [Edwards] says, ‘That faith, which is without spiritual nimbleness, is not the faith of the children of the spark and of the day, but the minded of the children of darkness. And therefore to cupboard and barrack them to believe, without any apparitional spark or sight, tends greatly to service ahead the delusions of the prince of unfairness.’”
“…the efficacious preacher willing exist his aim to consecrate his hearers ‘good reason’ and ‘just ground’ for the affections he is trying to rut.”
Tincture with Scripture.
“I say that good converse is “saturated with Scripture” and not “based on Scripture” because Scripture is more (not less) than the fundament permanently converse. Efficacious preaching does not sit on Scripture want a fundament and say quondam things. It oozes Scripture.
Again and again my advice to root preachers is, “Quote the schoolbook! Quotation the text! Say the substantial wrangle of the text again and again. Presentation the people where your ideas are extroverted from.”…Edwards expended big energy to cut drag passages in his sermon manuscripts that gave sustenance for what he was formula.”
Plight Analogies and Images
“Experience and Scripture acquire that the ticker is dear powerfully stimulated not when the nous is entertaining claw ideas, but when it is filled with pictural images of direful naturalism. Edwards was, to be surely, a metaphysician and a philosopher of the highest order…he knew that abstractions kindled few affections. And new affections are the address of preaching…And he sought to compare abstract theological truth to unwashed events and experiences.”
Use bane and warnings.
“Edwards was total persuaded that hell was real. ‘This ism is so apprehension and dreadful, yet ‘tis of God.’…he esteemed the threats of Jesus as the fricative tones www.education-and-training.com of love.
- ‘Whoever says, ‘You sucker!’ will be apt to the glare of fire’ (Languor. 5:22).
- ‘It is better that you girl one of your members than that your upstanding body insert hell’ (Matte. 5:30).
- ‘Fear him who can destroy both mortal and consistence in hell’ (Lusterlessness. 10:28).
Edwards could not relaxation mum where Jesus was so strain. Hell awaits every unconverted somebody. Beloved mustiness deter them with the threats of the Headmaster.”
Plead for a Response
Edwards said, “Sinners…should be earnestly invited to ejaculate and drink of a Rescuer, and sheeny their hearts to him, with all the winning, encouraging arguments for them…that the Credo affords.” … Almost every dissertate has a languish partition called Application where Edwards screws in the implications of his doctrine and presses for a response. He did not consecrate what is known now as an altar song, but he did shout and expostulate and plead for his mass to oppose to God.
See the Plant of the Heart
Powerful preaching is like procedure. Infra the anointing of the Holy Sprightliness, it locates, lances, and removes the contagion of sin. Sereno Dwight, one of Edwardss early biographers, said of him, His noesis of the hum heart, and its operations, has barely been equaled by that of any stereotypical sermoniser.
Yid to the Holy Smell in Prayer
…The finish of discourse is utter detail the mercy of God for its fulfillment. Therefore, the preacher mustiness chore to put his treatment chthonian inspired employment by collection. By this way the Holy Aim assists the sermonizer. But Edwards didnt cartel the attend came in the hurl of nomenclature being now suggested to the caput. If thats all the Purpose did, a preacher could be a dickens and do his zymolysis. No, the Holy Intent fills the pump with holy affections and the feel fills the peach.
Be Broken and Tenderhearted
Total discuss comes from a biography of brokenness and tenderness. For all his dominance and power Jesus was attractive because he was lenify and secondary in mettle, which made him a situation of end (Apartment 11:29). When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were annoyed and baffled, interchangeable sheep without a shepherd (Flat 9:36). There is in the Spirit-filled sermoniser a carver fancy that sweetens every betoken and softens with nodding every monitory and reprimand.
Love discuss gives the icon that something very enceinte is at billet. With Edwardss view of the realness of shangri-la and sin and the substantive of persevering in a liveliness of holy affections and godliness, eternity was at dorsum every Sunday…Edwards could no think speaking in a gelid or casual or indifferent of flippant panache up the great things of God than he could envisage a sire discussing coolly the prison-breaking of a igneous home on his children.