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The Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards

May 8, 2008

I stumbled across a conference called Resolved last year. It’s hosted by Rick Holland (a former youth pastor of Highland Park Baptist) and is based on the Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards. Don’t worry, John Piper does speak at it. I didn’t want anyone thinking that I was writing about something that isn’t somehow tied to John Piper. Here’s what they say about their conference:

Resolved means what it sounds like: it’s a deliberate, committed disposition.

As a 19-year-old in the mid-1700s, Jonathan Edwards became serious about the direction of his life. He began to understand the nature of God, and what he discovered was both delightful and disturbing. The more he investigated the infinite tributaries of God’s nature, the more he unearthed his own sinfulness. From then on, the weight of God’s glory became the gravity of his life. He was compelled to respond.

So he sat down with a quill and a paper and wrote out a series of commitments. These were simple statements, conclusions, and commitments forged in the immensity of God and the trauma of His holiness. All of them began with the same word – “Resolved.”

So their goal is to call a new generation to live a life with the same resolve. Sounds good.

I looked up the original Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards and they are really good. They are written in a very old-school way, so sometimes they take some work to understand. But they are really good. I figured I’d post one of them every so often. I’ll probably post it without comment – unless I can’t help myself – because my commentary would only lessen how well written these are.

Here’s my favorite one:

Resolved, to act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if nobody had been so vile as I, and as if I had committed the same sins, or had the same infirmities or failings as others; and that I will let the knowledge of their failings promote nothing but shame in myself, and prove only an occasion of my confessing my own sins and misery to God.

Wow.

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