Search This Blog

Monday, 2 February 2015

Charles Finney

On October 10, 1821 29-year-old law student Charles Finney (1792-1875) went into the woods near his home to settle the question of his soul's salvation. That night, he experienced a dramatic conversion, full of what seemed "waves of liquid love throughout his body."

Finney became the leading American evangelist of the first half of the nineteenth century and one of the leaders of the second Great Awakening. It is estimated that his preaching was responsible for the conversion of over half a million Americans. A Presbyterian minister, his work in Rochester, New York, dramatically transformed the area and during one particularly fruitful period in the early 1830s so many were converted that the town’s taverns went out of business and shops closed posting notices urging people to attend Finney's meetings.

Charles Grandison Finney (1792-1875) Wikipedia

Charles Finney was innovative in the way he conducted his revivalist meetings in allowing women to pray in mixed meetings and in setting aside a place for those who wanted to become Christians to receive prayer. As a theologian Finney challenged many of the Calvinist tenets of the time that many early nineteenth century American Christians held and his methods and teaching was to be influential on later revivalist preachers.

Finney was not only a leading evangelist but also a noted abolitionist and from the 1830s he refused to give Holy Communion to any slave owner. His involvement with the abolitionist movement gave the northerners a theological backing to their opposition to slavery and was a factor in encouraging American Protestants to participate in social action.


No comments:

Post a Comment