10 August 2009

'Pleasant, Bright, and Sweet'

In a lecture I was listening to today David Calhoun (my former church history professor at Covenant Seminary) pointed out that upon Jonathan Edwards' conversion, as he read 1 Tim 1:17, the doctrine of God's sovereignty (which before had been so repulsive to Edwards) suddenly "became exceedingly pleasant, bright, and sweet." Dr. Calhoun noted that so much of what Edwards came to write so movingly of the rest of his life is encapsulated in seed-form in that little statement. Pleasant, bright, and sweet--those three metaphors for spiritual reality are shot all through Edwards' writings. Christ and his gospel, to those born again, is pleasant (the source of real joy, the engine of authentic 'affections'), bright (illuminating, sun-like, clarifying, 'a divine and supernatural light'), and 'sweet' (to be enjoyed, 'the pleasantness of religion').

No comments: