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Charles G. Finney and the Spirit of American Evangelicalism (Library of Religious Biography Series) [Paperback]

Our Price $ 26.78  
Retail Value $ 31.50  
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Item Number 144354  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   336
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.05" Width: 5.97" Height: 0.87"
Weight:   1.11 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 1999
Publisher   Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
ISBN  0802801293  
EAN  9780802801296  

Availability  96 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 20, 2016 03:56.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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Item Description...
Charles Grandison Finney was the foremost evangelist in the pre-Civil War United States. His revivals in the cities along the Erie Canal; his well-organized campaigns in Philadelphia, New York City, Boston, and the British Isles; his prominent pastorate at New York's Broadway Tabernacle; and his teaching career at Oberlin College exemplify the evangelical spirit that swept the country following the Second Great Awakening. This lively biography by historian Charles E. Hambrick-Stowe tells the story of Finney's remarkable life and offers fresh insights into the nature of evangelicalism and the nineteenth-century American experience. By using the life of the great revivalist and educator as a window into the soul of American evangelicalism, Hambrick-Stowe shows in striking ways how Finney displayed the characteristics of that broader movement, many of which continue to flourish in twentieth-century religious life. Based on a thorough reading of the Finney Papers, Finney's writings, contemporary sources, and modern historiography, this biography exhibits scholarly depth in a popular narrative that is meant to be read and enjoyed as well as studied. A map of Finney's evangelistic travels, portraits, and other illustrations enhance the text.

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More About Mr. Charles E. Hambrick-Stowe

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Charles E. Hambrick-Stowe is Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dean of the Seminary, and professor of Christian history at Northern Seminary in Lombard, Illinois. He is the author of several books, including "Charles G. Finney and the Spirit of American Evangelicalism".

Charles E. Hambrick-Stowe has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Library of Religious Biography

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
educational but has its flaws  Apr 21, 2003
After having read this book, I have mixed emotions. First, I'd say that I learned quite a bit, and enjoyed the tremendous amount of research the author put in. Hambrick-Stowe is clearly knowledgeable and it comes through in the book.

My main hesitations in recommending this book are the almost gratuitous jabs the author takes at Finney and others that take away from the scholarly feel. For example, after his conversion, Finney quit his practice as a lawyer and told a client (as he writes in his autobiography), "I have a retainer from the Lord Jesus Christ to plead his cause, and I cannot plead yours." Hambrick-Stowe decided to follow this up with the line "A famously witty utterance, it is also the kind of line that may have gotten better with each telling until it finally saw print" (p. 19). This type of cynical statement, grounded only in the author's speculation, almost ruined the book for me. He does it several times. Sometimes it's based on his opinion (as the above example). Other times, when there are two conflicting accounts, he will select one as the "correct" version and then put the other version in a bad light. He does this a few times with Finney's Memoirs. Charles Finney wrote his Memoirs (his autobiography) when he was in his seventies, about events that happened up to fifty years earlier. Interestingly, he asked his wife to burn it the day before he died. He never even intended his autobiography to be published! Though there are undoubtedly some errors in his Memoirs, it was actually a "prodigious feat of memory" as Hambrick-Stowe calls it (p. 292). Whenever Hambrick-Stowe finds a discrepancy in it, he should have been more charitable, realizing it was the work of a man in his seventies who did not intend it to be published. In general, I wish he had been less caustic in general, especially in the early parts of the book.

To his credit, Hambrick-Stowe does nicely set Finney in the historical context, and acknowledges the immense accomplishments and genius that Finney had. He ends with the appropriate quote from James Morgan that "There was in him [Finney], in prayer, the most remarkable power that I have ever seen in any human being."

Instead of this book, I would recommend three other sources to start learning about Charles Finney. The first would be his abridged autobiography (edited by Helen Wessel). This is an excellent place to start to learn about the man. For those with more interest and time, the complete and unabridged autobiography (edited by Garth Rosell and Richard Dupuis) is a very long but *very* thorough and well done work. It is even more scholarly than Hambrick-Stowe's work, carefully footnoting many other external sources to fill out Charles Finney's life story. Finally, to get a sense of what Finney preached and his style, there is a volume of his sermons called "True Christianity" that is an excellent place to begin.
Charles G. Finney  Jan 22, 2000
Charles G. Finney And the Spirit of American Evangelicalism By Charles E. Hambrick-Stowe

The book Charles G. Finney by Charles E. Hambrick-Stowe is a biography of an influential nineteenth-century Christian, Charles G. Finney. Hambrick-Stowe writes of the ways that Finney influence on the people brought forth the spirit of American evangelism. The author looks at Finney as a typical American, and as a Spirit filled believer mixed into one. One of the major themes in the book is how this complex man, Finney, managed to hold together the very different religious beliefs. These beliefs were of Presbyterian New School-Old School schism, and the Calvinist and Wesleyan versions of the Protestant gospel. Another theme is about the effectiveness of Finney ministry and his way of preaching. Before his conversion Finney was an apprentice to a lawyer, and Hambrick-Stowe points out how this had much influence on the way that Finney preached. Finney began his preaching career in and around New York after the first Great Awakening, and before the Civil War. According to Hambrick-Stowe's account of Finney's conversion and preaching ministry, was anything but traditional. Hanbrick-Stowe continually points out different times that Finny broke with the traditional ways of preaching and went on to forge new ways to evangelize the American people with much vivacity. Hambrick-Stowe did not believe that Finney started the Second Great Awakening, but he was a major contributor influenced by preachers from the Great Awakening. His critical thinking skills and the poor preachers that he heard before his conversion helped strengthen his conviction to present the gospel with furor. Hambrick-Stowe makes Finney out to be the spark that lit the fire of evangelism. Because there was much turmoil in the church, and a lack of enthusiasm in preaching, Finney's style spoke directly to the people and brought on deep conviction of even the hardest critic. People responded to Finney's preaching because he used whatever method was necessary for the congregation. The greater the crisis in the community where Finney preached, the greater the response to the Holy Spirit. If a town or city were experiencing turmoil in any sense of the word, they would look to religion to lighten the burden of the social and economic status. Finney used this to his advantage in the pulpit. Hambrick-Stowe lets the reader believe that another reason for the effectiveness of Finney's preaching is due to Finney's personal interest in the people Spiritual wellbeing. In his ministry, Finney would go to different people's house to talk to them on a personal level, and to get a better understanding of them. He would talk to the local authorities and the religious leaders as well. Finney would encourage people to pray for the ministry, for penitents to give their lives to Christ, and for those who had special needs to come up to the front to be prayed for. Hambrick-Stowe tells us that another factor that contributed to Finney's influence was his message for all peoples regardless of age, race, or sex. Even during a time of heated theological debate between the denominations, Finney brought harmony where there was discord between people. Finney's role in the time was of a person who led the way for a new means of revival that continue today. His idea's of salvation for all persons was a new idea after the puritan and Calvinistic ideas of predestination. Finney encouraged door-to-door evangelism, personal testimonies in a service, and even women's testimonies. This is a good educational book.


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