Charles G. Finney and the Spirit of American Evangelicalism

Charles G. Finney and the Spirit of American Evangelicalism

Charles G. Finney and the Spirit of American Evangelicalism

Charles G. Finney and the Spirit of American Evangelicalism

Excerpt

Charles G. Finney, born in 1792, was the most widely known of the many great revival preachers in the pre–Civil War United States. His campaigns from 1824 to 1834 in the so-called "burned-over district" of upstate New York and in Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston made his name synonymous with the final stage of the Second Great Awakening as it has traditionally been understood. In 1835, at age forty-three, Finney moved to Oberlin, Ohio, where he became professor of theology and later president of Oberlin College. Oberlin was noted for its abolitionist stance, for its acceptance of black students, and as a pioneer in coeducation for women. Finney and the other faculty also put forth the doctrine of entire sanctification and began to use the controversial language of perfection to describe the life of Christian obedience at the same time that the Wesleyan holiness movement came to life. Finney continued his evangelistic preaching, toured England twice, and served as pastor of the church in Oberlin for thirty-five years. He remained an active preacher and teacher until his death in 1875.

In an era when evangelical Protestantism was defined in . . .

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