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Mike Pohlman Christian Blog and Commentary

Why Jonathan Edwards Would Use Facebook

Thinking about New Years and what resolutions I want to make for '09. I, for one, see God's grace in the close of one year and the dawn of another. This yearly cycle gives us the opportunity to take inventory of where they stand in relation to our Creator--are we seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness? (cf. Matt. 6:33)

To help me in this endeavor I've enlisted Steven Lawson and his fine new book on Jonathan Edwards: The Unwavering Resolve of Jonathan Edwards. Lawson's aim with the book is "to challenge a new generation of believers to pursue holiness in their daily lives" by focusing on Edwards' seventy "Resolutions." (Amazingly, Edwards wrote these resolutions in 1722 and 1723 when he was just eighteen and nineteen-years-old.)

Lawson chose to focus on Edwards' "Resolutions" given how well they demonstrate the towering virtue of his life, namely, his piety. "In short, though Edwards was intellectually brilliant and theologically commanding, his true greatness lay in his indefatigable zeal for the glory of God."

Now, what does this have to do with Facebook? I am convinced that Jonathan Edwards would have used Facebook given his first two resolutions.

Consider Resolution #1:

Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God's glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriads of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty, and the most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many and how great soever.

Edwards was resolved, regardless of the difficulty, to live for the glory of God, his own pleasure (in God) and the good of mankind generally. Amazing and convicting.

Now, notice what this Puritan--this relic of centuries ago--says in Resolution #2: 

Resolved, to be continually endeavoring to find out some new invention and contrivance to promote the forementioned things.

I conclude from this second resolution that if Edwards saw an opportunity with Facebook--or any other social networking technology--to advance the glory of God, he would take fulll advantage.

The reason Edwards wouldn't use Twitter? There's no way he could have stayed within the limits of the 140 character count when updating his status.