The Divine Dramatist: George Whitefield and the Rise of Modern Evangelicalism

The Divine Dramatist: George Whitefield and the Rise of Modern Evangelicalism

The Divine Dramatist: George Whitefield and the Rise of Modern Evangelicalism

The Divine Dramatist: George Whitefield and the Rise of Modern Evangelicalism

Synopsis

Commonly acknowledged as Anglo-America's most popular eighteenth-century preacher, George Whitefield commanded mass audiences across two continents through his personal charisma. Harry Stout draws on a number of sources, including the newspapers of Whitefield's day, to outline his subject's spectacular career as a public figure. Although Whitefield here emerges as very much a modern figures, given to shameless self-promotion and extravagant theatricality, Stout also shows that he was from first to last a Calvinist, earnest in his support of orthodox theological tenets and sincere in his concern for the spiritual welfare of the thousands to whom he preached.

Excerpt

Historians commonly suggest that religious revivals, as we know them, were invented in Great Britain and the American colonies in the eighteenth century. They also single out George Whitefield, “the Grand Itinerant, ” as the most powerful and arresting revivalist of an age that includes John Wesley and Jonathan Edwards. Yet Whitefield has remained an elusive figure, far less understood than the founder of the Methodist movement or the theologian from Northhamption, Massachusetts, who wrote so profoundly about religious experience.

Stout’s creative study brings Whitefield to life, capturing the essence of his meteoric rise and the arresting power of his preaching. The Divine Dramatist is superb biography in three respects. First, it is a vivid character study of a complex individual who was devoted both to sacrificial service and to fame and achievement. Whitefield was a man so passionate about his calling as preacher that he would allow no rival for his affections. He proposed to his wife without a confession of love and tolerated a marriage largely absent of warmth and passion. Spending as many as forty or fifty hours a week . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.