As a seminarian, I listen to a lot of teaching and preaching. There are times my Ipod has more sermons and teachings (by a variety of pastors) than music. I observe the preacher’s style, the way he handles the text, the illustrations used to illustrate points. It’s amazing the variety of styles and gifts God gives different preachers as they feed their flocks. I enjoy listening to sermons and always grow somehow through them.
Technology feeds this love for the Word preached well. Sermonaudio.com has made many of histories finest sermons available for free in audio formats. Not only can you listen to the best communicators alive through the internet and podcasts, but you can listen to the sermons of brilliant dead guys as you make your morning commute.
One of the most famous sermons in American history, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” by Jonathan Edwards was first given in Enfield, Connecticut on July 8, 1741. Edward’s theological sophistication and thoroughness are clear in his writings and sermons. Here, you can download and listen to this sermon. I recommend everyone listen to it and hopefully go on to study the message in more detail. Our culture needs preaching of the caliber and boldness of Edwards. He is so quickly dismissed (as are so many of the most brilliant among us). I believe reading (and listening) to classical sermons and works is like having a conversation with some of the most brilliant people who ever lived.
We take for granted the gift of the preservation of so many works of literature and instruction that have been passed down over the centuries. That we know what we know about Socrates, Augustine, Anslem, Edwards, Spurgeon, Pascal and hundreds of others is no less than a blessing from God. If we ignore them, then we show our ignorance. Download “Sinners in the Hands of An Angry God” and interact with Edward’s brilliance. It’s okay to not believe everything he preached or believed, but too many historical people of all theological orientations have affirmed his brilliance for it to not be so. Brilliant people can be wrong, but so can we…