Jonathan Edwards and Resolutions (34): Truth and Art Chases off Darkness
34. Resolved, in narrations never to speak anything but the pure and simple verity.
We all love good stories and we all love good storytellers from musicians to movies, poets, and novels. A plot laid out at just the right tempo, the punch line to a joke executed perfectly is much more than good art (although it is that) it's magical. A good storyteller has the ability to transport an audience where he/she chooses and not only that, but the storyteller makes us willing to go. I would argue though that a great story does all of this is service to what is true.
Now, I am not certain as to Edward's every intention behind his resolutions and he has been criticized by some as being legalistic, but what we must hold in our minds as we work through resolutions like these is Edward's commitment to knowing his heart (Jeremiah 17:9) and guarding his heart (Proverbs 4:23). Edwards loved beauty. He loved nature. He loved the sciences. He loved reading stories. He loved words. He loved art. And he knew God created them to communicate weight eternal realities beautifully. Edwards wrestled to keep in mind that pleasures such as stories (narrations) were good gifts from God meant to be employed in the service of the truth and beauty of God's Kingdom- the Kingdom chasing off all this darkness.
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8 ESV)