November 15, 2018 by directorfsm
Dr. MacArthur makes a play on words here to make his point that today’s modern movement(s) have no real biblical foundation. Instead of being driven to repentance for their sinfulness, as were those in the Great Awakening; today people are driven by pure emotion. – Mike
Many charismatics today claim that the Great Awakening was a forerunner to their own movement, marked by the same emotional outbursts and experiences that dominate their worship. Moreover, as we’ve already seen, they argue that the movement was quenched by an emphasis on theological precision. But such arguments betray a woeful misunderstanding of the Great Awakening—a revival rooted in strong preaching and sound theology. Far from challenging orthodox theology, it reestablished the Puritan heritage of Calvinist orthodoxy and put a halt (at least temporarily) to the serious erosion of doctrinal clarity that was the hallmark of the age. The emotional displays began in response to the clear preaching of God’s Word.
Edwards, Whitefield, and all the other leading preachers of that era were known for the vividness and directness of their preaching. When they applied their plainness of speech, graphic imagery, and logical precision to the truths of Scripture—all under the Holy Spirit’s sovereign power—the impact on audiences was dramatic.
One of the earliest recorded incidents of congregational outcries, swooning, and weeping happened during the Sunday evening worship service at Enfield, Connecticut on July 8, 1741. Jonathan Edwards was the visiting preacher, and the text he preached from was Deuteronomy 32:35: “Vengeance is Mine, and retribution, in due time their foot will slip; for the day of their calamity is near, and the impending things are hastening upon them.” Edwards’s sermon that night has become the message for which he is most famous: “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” Anyone who has ever read the text of that sermon knows it is as far from the don’t-worry-be-happy spirit of our age as it is possible to get.