Jonathan Edwards on singing

Why do we sing? What’s the point of singing in church? What does it even achieve? Well the Puritan, Jonathan Edwards, was a big fan of singing.

You see, when we sing in church, the voices of the congregation come together in harmony. This is good in two ways:

First, it is relational. Jonathan Edwards says that the ‘most beautiful’ picture of the Trinity is to see people ‘sweetly singing to each other’ [The Works of Jonathan Edwards Vol. 13].

This leads to the second; that harmonious singing profoundly proclaims the eternal, loving Trinity. Jonathan Edwards describes the Trinity as ‘the supreme harmony of all’ [The Works of Jonathan Edwards Vol. 13]. When we sing as a church, our voices in harmony come together. The different sounds relate to one another and compliment one another in unity, whilst at the same time remaining diverse. In this way, the Trinity is the ‘supreme harmony of all’ – diversity in unity –  with the persons forever in their cosmic dance of love.

As Mike Reeves says, ‘the Trinity is the rationale for all harmony’.


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