Monday, June 11, 2012

Revival and Revivalism: Making and Marring of American Evangelicalism 1750-1858

Banner of Truth Trust, 1994 - Religion - 455 pages
Murray analyses a crucial period in American religious history,with particular attention to the major theme of the nature ofreligious revival. He rejects the common identification of revival & revivalism, showing that the latter differed from the former both in its origins & in its implications. Whereas in the earlier period, revival was understood as supernatural & heaven-sent, in the later period the ethos was much more man-centred & the methods employed much closer to the manipulative. The change in perspective can be summed up by saying that revival was first viewed as OEsent down, but later seen as OEworked up. A pivotal figure in the change & a major promoter of the new methods, was Charles Grandison Finney (1792-1875). Murray traces developments from the time of Samuel Davies (1763-61), through the age of the Second Great Awakening, to the New York Awakening of 1857-8. In addition to Davies & Finney, major leaders whose names recur in these pages include Archibald Alexander (1772-1851) of Princeton Theological Seminary, Edward D. Griffin (1770-1837) & Asahel Nettleton (1783-1844).Arnold DallimoreAn outstanding biography, scholarly, yet popularly written, of theleading preacher of the eighteenth-century evangelical revival.Whitefield (1714-70) is acknowledged to have made a greaterimpact on evangelical Christianity on both sides of the Atlanticthan any other preacher of the eighteenth century. The firstvolume traces the early career of Whitefield to the end of 1740, atwhich point the twenty-six-year-old was already the most brilliantand popular preacher of the time, and had already, at age 24,commanded the largest congregations yet seen in America. Thesecond volume traces the doctrinal conflict with John and CharlesWesley, Whitefield?s visits to Scotland and Wales, as well as theAmerican colonies, and the emergence of a Calvinistic branch ofMethodism. Also provided are details of Whitefield?s marriage,friendships, ceaseless labours and early death aged 55. The two-volume set casts new light on Whitefield?s early life in Gloucester,religious conditions in England at the commencement of hispreaching ministry, his influence on the Great Awakening of 1739-40 in America, his relationships with the Wesleys, hisphilanthropic endeavours and his impact on all classes of Englishsociety including the aristocracy.

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