Edwards on Why Seeing God Would Kill Us

From a sermon on James 1:17

God is arrayed with an infinite brightness, a brightness that doesn’t create pain as the light of the sun pains the eyes to behold it, but rather fills with excess of joy and delight. Indeed, no man can see God and live, because the sight of such glory would overpower nature, . . . ’tis because the joy and pleasure in beholding would be too strong for a frail nature.

According to Edwards, it isn’t God’s holiness that would incinerate us. It’s the joy that would erupt within us that we can’t handle.

Yet.

–Jonathan Edwards, ‘That God is the Father of Lights,’ in The Blessing of God: Previously Unpublished Sermons of Jonathan Edwards, p.346

(HT: Dane Ortlund)

Peter serves as a pastor-teacher, at home and abroad, resourcing gospel-centred communities.

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