Charles G. Finney
American revivalist preacher and educator
Finney was born in Litchfield county, Conn., on Aug. 27, 1792. He studied law from 1818 to 1821, when he had a sudden conversion experience. After this he began to preach and was licensed to preach by the Presbyterian denomination in 1824. Wherever he traveled he started extensive religious revivals.
Finney was criticized because he emphasized the will of man in the process of regeneration and employed revival techniques that became known as "New Measures", calculated to evoke a highly emotional response. Impatient with Presbyterianism, he became a Congregationalist, serving New York City's Broadway Tabernacle.
Finney was appointed professor of theology at Oberlin College (1835), minister of the First Congregational Church at Oberlin (1837), and was named president of the college in 1852. His Lectures on Revivals (1835) became a handbook for American revivalists, and his Lectures on Theology (1846) indicate the modifying influence of evangelicalism on American Calvinism. Finney died at Oberlin on Aug. 16, 1875.
Works by Charles G. Finney
Charles Finney (1792-1875) was an American Presbyterian preacher known for his revival services and extemporaneous preaching. Although he belonged to a Calvinist denomination, he rejected several of Calvinism’s central doctrines. While staunch Calvinists believed in the perseverance of the saints, Finney believed that a Christian could “backslide,” or turn back from the Christian life and revert to a life of sin. In this address, Finney clarifies his theology of backsliding, first explaining what it is not, then what it is. He describes what a backslidden life might look like, and what consequences living in sin bring upon the sinner. Finney closes his address with advice for escaping a state of backsliding, reminding people of Christ’s grace and loving kindness.
Lectures on Revivals of Religion brings together twenty-three lectures that the theologian Charles Finney gave to his church during the middle of the 19th century. Consequently, these engaging lectures are written in a simple style, with everyday examples, and possess a periodic humor and charm. Finney's theology in these lectures is controversial--some have found it liberating, while others have publicly denounced it. But, no matter one's views on Finney's theology, his Lectures covers a wide range of topics, including the nature of a revival, how to preach the gospel, directions and instructions for sinners, and spiritual growth. A key theologian, Finney had an important impact on the Second Great Awakening. Thus, there is no better place to learn about Finney or revivals than his Lectures on Revivals of Religion.
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Charles Finney (1792-1875) was an American Presbyterian preacher known for his revival services and extemporaneous preaching. His Lectures to Professing Christians contains twenty-five lectures delivered in New York City in 1836 and 1837. Finney spoke on various social and theological issues, but he hinted at the themes of justification and sanctification in nearly every single lecture. The revivalist’s most famous lectures are on Christian perfectionism, the doctrine that Christians can and should live sinless lives of their own free will through Christ. During his lifetime, Finney’s lectures stirred up considerable controversy. His ideas remain controversial even today, as none have sufficiently ended the Calvinism/Arminian debate.
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Charles Finney (1792-1875) was an American Presbyterian preacher known for his revival services and extemporaneous preaching. As he observed other church leaders, he began to feel many of them lacked the “power from on high”—the baptism of the Holy Spirit. In the first chapters of his book, Finney first explains what “power from on high” means to him. More than just speaking in tongues, the baptism of the Holy Spirit grants Christians the power to live lives of grace and holiness. Finney uses the rest of his book to help Christians—church leaders in particular—grow closer to the Holy Spirit and receive God’s power. Both present and past readers have found Finney’s words spirited and encouraging.
Charles Finney (1792-1875) was an American Presbyterian preacher known for his revival services and extemporaneous preaching. Sermons on Gospel Themes is a collection of his sermons, written down in shorthand as he preached them and then submitted to Finney for revision. The series includes sermons on God's love and mercy, human sin and tendency for evil, and Christ's salvation of humanity. Since Finney preached without notes, his sermons are full of emotion, yet they are amazingly structured and easy to follow. He was fond of having specific points in his messages, and a quick look at the table of contents of this volume will reveal highly organized and numbered sections. These sermons are ideal for someone looking for honest messages on important Christian themes.
Charles Finney (1792-1875) was an American Presbyterian preacher known for his revival services and extemporaneous preaching. Systematic Theology is a collection of the lectures Finney gave at Oberlin College. They were later published in this volume for distribution to the British public. Finney is known as a heretic in many Christian circles, and Systematic Theology receives no lack of criticism. His theology of self-sanctification worries many staunch Calvinists, and Systematic Theology perpetuates the Calvinist/Armenian debate. But the lectures are well thought out and address diverse subjects - moral law, love, government, depravity, atonement, justification, sanctification, election, perseverance of the saints, and many others. Finney is revered by many and scorned by others, but his Systematic Theology is a masterpiece of religious text and should be treasured. Important for both debate and development of faith, this collection is unique and spirited.
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