Head or Heart Knowledge?

I recently went to The Gospel Coalition Conference in Chicago, where I attended a dinner, and received 19 free books. Yeah, I know, it was pretty awesome! Five of the books happened to be the Essential Edwards Collection by Doug Sweeney and Owen Strachan. This set is an excellent look into the life and writings of Jonathan Edwards. You can check them out here.

In the first book, Lover of God, this quote appears by Jonathan Edwards:

“He that is spiritually enlightened truly apprehends and sees it, or has a sense of it. He does not merely rationally believe that God is glorious, but he has a sense of the gloriousness of God in his heart. There is not only a rational belief that God is holy…but there is a sense of the loveliness of God’s holiness. There is not only a speculatively judging that God is gracious, but a sense how amiable God is upon that account, or a sense of the beauty of this divine attribute (Works 17, 413)” (Essential Edwards Collection, 34).


Edwards is distinguishing between an intellectual knowledge and a heart knowledge of God. He believes intellectual knowledge of God without heart knowledge is no real knowledge at all.

You see, you can define premillennialism, postmillennialism, and amillennialism better than anyone in the field; beat everyone in the church in a Bible drill, including the pastor himself; have the entire Pentateuch memorized in Hebrew, and still not have a personal relationship with the Lord.

Knowing the Lord should involve more than our mind. Knowing the Lord should involve our entire being. It should involve our mind, emotions, and soul. We should truly delight in God, knowing that He is our Savior. Just the thought of His Son willingly enduring the cross for our sins, should send us to our knees to praise Him. Pondering His attributes should cause us to fear Him, while at the same time bringing sheer joy to our souls. We should take delight in reading His word and seeking His face in prayer because He is our Lord and Savior, the Creator of the universe, and the One in whom we find our strength and rest.

Let’s Get Real

If you have never felt a sense of pure joy at the thought of Him saving you from the pits of hell, praised Him for His divine attributes, or even thanked Him for the roof over your head, the job you have, the money in the bank, and the food you eat, then you may need to rethink your relationship with the Lord.


I invite you, as we speak, to take an honest look at your relationship with the Lord. That is what Jonathan Edwards did, and His life changed for all eternity.

One thought on “Head or Heart Knowledge?

  1. Pingback: 72 Precious Words that Define Our Personal Relationship with God « Clark's Bible Blog

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