This concise biography of George Whitefield's life by James L. Schwenk is supplemented by accounts from friends and contemporaries such as John Wesley and Benjamin Franklin. It also features excerpts from Whitefield's own works and writings, including correspondence with John Wesley and three full-length sermons. Paperback.
James L. Schwenk writes on the life of the most significant traveling preacher in North Americas Great Awakening and one of the most important in Britains eighteenth-century revival, George Whitefield. This is a concise biography on Whitefields life from his early childhood in Gloucester, England, to his conversion at Oxford University through the influence of Charles Wesley, to his many missionary travels throughout the American colonies, to his death in Newburyport, Massachusetts. Schwenk completes the picture with writings from original sourcesincluding Whitefields friends and contemporaries such as John Wesley and Benjamin Franklinand excerpts from Whitefields writings. Includes correspondence with John Wesley and three full-length sermons.
James L. Schwenk (M.Div., Evangelical Seminary; M.Phil. and Ph.D., Drew University) is the lead pastor of Gingrichs Mennonite Church in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. He has taught the history of Christianity at numerous schools, most recently at Evangelical Seminary in Myerstown, Pennsylvania, and Zaporozhye Bible College and Seminary in Zaporozhye, Ukraine. His research interests include J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and Doctor Who.
Oxford University graduate, outstanding 18th -century itinerant preacher in England, Scotland, and North America, and orphanage founder in Georgia, George Whitefield's effective ministry reached tens of thousands of people. James Schwenk's admirable book on Whitefield serves three purposes. It offers a compact description of Whitefield's life; carefully chosen excerpts from his writings; and a brief bibliography of sources by and about Whitefield. An important introduction to the man and his ministry.
Paragraph 1: George Whitefield has been celebrated, criticized, and nearly canonized. In this volume, however, he is heard. One can neither fully understand or appreciate Whitefield without understanding that he was the greatest preacher of the English speaking world. Jim Schwenk, who is both historian and preacher, summons Whitefields own voice to speak clearly here, not only in the selections of Whitefields writings that accompany the biography but also in the way Schwenk so colorfully narrates the passions and struggles of Whitefields energetic life. Paragraph 2: The challenge of a good historian is to see both the forest and the trees; that is, to tell a story without becoming immersed in minutia but to be so well informed of the details as to understand what truly matters. Jim Schwenk rises to that challenge with aplomb in this accessible, flowing, and appreciative biography of George Whitefield, the colonial-era revival preacher who united a generation of Americans around the gospel of Jesus Christ. Schwenks story-telling powers are on full display here, as are Whitefields dramatic personality, powerful oratory, and inspiring vision for a nation revived. Paragraph 3: As a child, I immersed myself in marvelous well-written biographies of real people who did extraordinary things. I wish I had been able to enjoy Jim Schwenks marvelous volume on George Whitefield then, for he would have become a hero decades earlier. Schwenks work is appreciative without being hagiographical; it is informed by scholarship without being stuffy. It strikes a fine balance between Whitefields own voice and the voices of others, then and now, who both challenged and celebrated him. I heartily recommend this accessible, enjoyable biography for all who want an introduction to the remarkable George Whitefield.
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