Jonathan Edwards Week – Sex & God’s Glory

Earlier this week we saw that Edwards believed that “God is a communicative being.” This significance of this is that God is all about his glory – specifically God is all about communicating his own glory ad intra (within the Trinity) and ad extra (to sentient beings he has created). Then we asked the question:

How do sentient beings, participate in the glorification of God? What is these beings role (whether humans or angels) in glorifying God? Two answer this other question we need to look at two other axiom’s Edwards’ Trinitarian theology… but we’ll save that for later.

Today we get to those two points and what it means for our sexuality.

Two Axioms

Axiom 1 – In the beauty of spiritual community the glory of God becomes visible.

Axiom 2 – The church glorifies God when it knows and delights in Him.

It is clear that for Edwards God’s self-glorification was fundamental to his theology. To put it quite simply, Edwards believed that God is all about his self-glorification. God is glorified when the beauty of the spiritual community becomes visible and when this same community knows and delights in him.

So What Does This Mean for the Church’s Sexuality?

First, we must take seriously the fact that sexual sin within the church is not merely a private matter, it affects the whole community and it is a violation of the love that ought to be seen within the church.[1] Second, we must oppose sexual morality done simply for the sake of being moral, rather we must encourage sexual morality by encouraging people to find delight in God. As people’s knowledge of and delight in God grow, their desire for sexual sin will begin to diminish. If the church would begin to do these simple things, the church would certainly bring much glory to God.

Do you want to know more about this these two axioms or Edwards understanding of sexuality in the church? Then come to ETS MidWest 2015, April 10 & 11 – I will be presenting a paper titled:

Bad Books and The Glorious Trinity:
Jonathan Edwards on the Sexual Holiness of the Church


[1] Paul picks up on this in his letter to the Thessalonians: For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you. (1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 ESV)


Published by cwoznicki

Chris Woznicki is an Assistant Adjunct Professor of Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary. He works as the regional training associate for the Los Angeles region of Young Life.

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