Persuasion in “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”

7 July 2016

In the Sermon “Sinners in the hand of an Angry God” given by Jonathan Edwards, the persuasion techniques logos, ethos, and pathos are displayed. To start off, the persuasion technique logos is used in Edward’s sermon when he talks about being burned in hell. In the sermon Edwards says, “So that, thus it is that natural men are held in the hand of God, over the pit of hell…” Logos uses logic to persuade people. Edwards tries to show people that pain is inevitable if they’re a sinner, and it’s simple logic that people don’t want to be lifted over hell.

This scares people from sinning. Moreover, ethos is displayed in the sermon with Edward’s authority figure. Ethos uses authority to persuade people. Edwards is a pastor, so with his position people are more liking to follow his beliefs. Other people may not be taken as serious as Edwards. This helps Edwards in his goal. Furthermore, pathos is expressed in the sermon when Edwards talks with intensity and lets out his emotions. For example, Edwards says in the sermon, “It is everlasting wrath.

” The italicized everlasting shows how much emphasis he uses on this word. He really tried to pour out his emotions into this sermon. Emotions are what pathos uses to persuade. This technique can be very effective for Edward’s because it can get emotions to influence his audience. To conclude, persuasive techniques can convince people of beliefs as shown in “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”; these techniques are still used today in advertisements, propaganda, speeches, and etc. to convince people of beliefs.

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