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Christian History Issue 20 stated, “Charles Grandison Finney is considered America’s greatest past revivalist. Church roles swelled in the wake of Finney’s revivals. Though it is hard to gather accurate statistics, he is often directly, or indirectly credited with conversions of around 500,000.” The time frame was in the 1830’s. It is said that his revival meetings transformed entire towns. It is said that in some towns after the meetings the bars would close down because there was no business for them and churches would spring up in their place. He stated in his message that he was to show what revival is.

Charles Finney made a significant impression upon the religious life of 19th century America, and his influence is still evident today. Called the “father of modern revivalism” by some historians, he paved the way for later revivalists like Dwight L. Moody, Billy Sunday, and Billy Graham. He constructed a theology that harmonized with the ideals of the Jacksonian era; if President Andrew Jackson was the political folk-hero of early l9th-century America, Charles Grandison Finney was its religious folk-hero. Just as the American frontier was being widened and common folk were getting the vote, Finney gave the public an opportunity to cast their votes on the matter of salvation. Charles Grandison Finney19th Century Giant of American Revivalism: Christian History, Issue 20, (Carol Stream, IL: Christianity Today, Inc.) 1997.

He stated the following about revival: The following is taken from Christian History page 31, 32:

1. A revival always includes the conviction of sin on the part of the church.

2. Backslidden Christians will be brought to repentance.

3. A revival is nothing else than a new beginning of obedience to God. Just as in the case of a converted sinner, the first step is a deeper repentance, a breaking down of the heart, a getting down into the dust before God, with deep humility, and a forsaking of sin.

4. Christians will have their faith renewed…they will see things in that strong light which will renew the love of God in their hearts. This will lead them to labor zealously to bring others to him.

5. A revival breaks the power of the world and of sin over Christians.

6. When the churches are thus awakened and reformed, the reformation and salvation of sinners will follow…

Charles Finney brought revival and the presence and the life transforming power of God to America in the early 1800’s and it forever changed the hearts of 100,000 of people. Finney reminds me of another revivalist. This man’s name and story is found in the Old Testament.

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