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Revival - Charles G. Finney

By Jay Rogers
Published March 31, 2008

“When he opened his mouth he was aiming a gun. When he spoke bombardment began. The effects of his speaking were almost unparalleled in modern history. Over half a million people were converted through his ministry … in an age when there were no amplifiers or mass communications, he spearheaded a revival which literally altered the course of history“1

Charles Finney was born the year after Wesley died; appropriately, because the revival events of Finney’s life became the link from the First Great Awakening of one century to the Second Great Awakening of the next. His life and writings influenced more people toward revival and social reform than any other preacher of the last century. He hated slavery with a passion and became a champion of many social reform issues of the 18th century. His convictions were born in the fires of revival and shaped by a keen lawyer’s mind committed to the full authority of the Bible. So effective were his writings that they have been the impetus for revivals around the world since his death.2

Extravagant and emotional in his preaching, perhaps no other revivalist of his day was as effective and controversial as Finney. Everywhere he went tumult followed him – it was either revival or riot – reminiscent of the power that followed the first century apostles in the Book of Acts. His most controversial measures included allowing women to lead prayer during meetings, appealing by name to sinners while preaching, long protracted meetings without a planned format, and teaching the possibility, even the necessity, of totally eradicating sin both in the individual and in society. Some estimate that over 80% of his converts during the revivals stayed true to Christ without ever backsliding. This was due to his urgent message stressing holiness and purity. In later years, he moved away from sensationalism and put more emphasis on the power of the Holy Spirit through prayer.

As a theologian, he is best know for his Revival Lectures. No other books have been so mightily used of God to promote true biblical revival. In it, he explains what a revival is and treats at length related subjects as the place of faith and prayer in relation to revival; the need for the baptism in the Holy Spirit; methods to be used in the quest for souls; hindrances to revivals; instructions to new converts; and how to grow in grace.3

1 Perry Miller, Charles Finney, cover.
2 Finney, The Heart of Truth, cover.
3 Winkie Pratney, Revival, (Whitaker House, Springdale, PA, 1983) pp. 116-127.


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Your comments are welcome!

Hi, when I gave my life to Christ in the 1970’s I heard about Finney and started studying and reading his material.

Posted by Robert Ward on 11/02/2008 08:58 AM #

Hello all,
Charles Finney is an Eagle of God.The years now need people like him to ignite true compassion and realistic godly living in the world.He is one of my heroes.He talks to the mind.Smith Wigglesworth another hero of mine talks to the emotions.George Mueller another eagle of God talks to the unreasoning faith on God.Follow these heroes’ sermons and you will never be the same again.
Dev

Posted by Devakumar Bhagavandas on 12/26/2008 09:22 AM #

This is totally counter to what I have read about Finney previously. Suprised to find such affirmation of him on a site that supports calvinism.

Posted by PJ on 08/10/2009 02:57 PM #

Please pray for me; I have strong passion to impact my generation with true revival as Evangelist C. G. Finney impacted his generation.

Posted by Yakubu Stephen Adebamigbe on 12/02/2009 11:09 AM #

The first time I heard about him was my early teens during a fasting and pprayer.I was so fascinated by his great successes that I wish God could help me to be greatly used even more like him.O God you know this has been my desire.Raise up your men for this end time;Raise up a great army of the cross O Lord

Posted by ogunji seyi on 03/01/2010 10:39 PM #

If I can surrender and work like this man “Finney” oooh I will be more comfortable in my Xtian journey. I pray GOD will do it. amen

Posted by Gabriel Niyi Orokunle on 03/04/2010 11:19 AM #

I had heard of Finney in the late 1980’s. I was drawn to his works and have since collected or read everything that he had written. A great man GREATLY used of God

Posted by Lee Sanborn on 06/22/2010 07:17 PM #

Finney is indeed a man ablaze for God; and if God should ask me to choose an anointing I will definately choose that of Finney.

Posted by O.B Emmanuel on 04/05/2011 03:25 PM #

Finney’s messages from God has really inspired me over the years. He humbled himself to Jesus and was used mightily to rescue the perishing. I desire to be used in like manner by God.

Posted by Dr. Vincent Logah on 11/11/2011 08:42 AM #

I have a similar passion for revival, similar leading and I’ve began to have similar experience this man had. I believe the greatest revival ever is on the way.

Posted by Ayokunle aremu on 10/06/2012 11:13 PM #

I just want to challenge everyone on this website and say… Although Charles G. Finney was used in a mighty way and was a vessel to be poured out, a mightier work is coming. We have to be prepared for the new works of God that He will do, because they are bigger than the old works. They need more revelation than ever before. You may want the glory that Charles Finney had, but are you willing to pay the price that he paid? This life takes some serious sacrifice of your own life, and a heart that is open to whatever God might say. Be prepared for your theology to shift a little, if not a lot.

Posted by Casaundra Adahl on 04/29/2013 01:17 AM #

I have the same zeal like him and intended to live for Lord.

Posted by vijsyskumsrdass on 01/12/2014 06:35 AM #

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