Jonathan Edwards and Worship
A dear brother and I are doing some reading together this summer (The Pastor as Scholar and Scholar as Pastor), and came across this gem of a quote from Jonathan Edwards regarding his own preaching as worship, and godly, biblical emotions in the context of congregational worship. He writes (see p. 23 of Pastor as Scholar),
I should think myself in the way of my duty to raise the affections of my hearers as high as I possibly can, provided that they are affected with nothing but truth, and with affections that are not disagreeable to the nature of what they are affected with. (in Edwards, “Some Thoughts Concerning the Revival.”)
This is highly relevant for all aspects of the gathered time of corporate worship. (See also D. A. Carson’s The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God, ch.2 where he notes the reality of an emotive God.) As worship leaders, we want to raise the affections of our congregations as high as we possibly can – but note the provision – what affects proper “religious affections” is the truth. The biblical Gospel and the grandeur of the biblical God ground and sustain real worship, be it worship in song, in giving, in the elements of the bread and cup, in baptism, or in worship through preaching.
Thank you, once again, Jonathan Edwards!