Objective: Outline Jonathan Edwards’ evaluation of the phenomenon observed during the Great Awakening.
As the Great Awakening spread, many people were questioning the legitimacy of the movement due to some of the phenomena that people were experiencing during the revival meetings. People were experiencing very emotional reactions to the preaching with loud weeping, groaning, shouts, and other expressions that traditional American church leaders felt were unseemly. Many traditional church leaders began to criticize the Great Awakening as being all emotion and of no real spiritual benefit. During the controversy, Jonathan Edwards wrote his treatise on religious affections exploring the phenomenon that people were experiencing and examining whether the people experiencing these phenomena could be experiencing genuine Christian spiritual transformation.
-Read pages 2-20 of “A Treatise Concerning Religious Affections.
-As you read, pay attention to the case Edwards makes for the necessity of affections in true Christian discipleship. Also, take note of how affections are similar to and different from the way we use the word emotion in our age.
-Write a two-page double spaced response on Edward,s treatise on affections. Please include the following elements:
-Summarize Edwards,s argument in favor of the necessity of affections in true Christian experience.
-Choose one argument that seems particularly interesting or meaningful for you and explain why this is so.
-Finally, include at least one paragraph of reflection on how the truth of Edwards’s treatise can be applied to your personal life or ministry.
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