Fire in the Heart.
A Review of
George Whitefield: American’s Spiritual Founding Father.
Hardback: Yale UP, 2014
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By Douglas Connelly
The year 2014 marks the 300th anniversary of George Whitefield’s birth (December 16, 1714 to be exact). Thomas Kidd, professor of early American history at Baylor University, has written a very readable and warm-hearted biography of the great evangelist to reaffirm and re-establish Whitefield’s place in the story of the Great Awakening in the 1700s. Spiritual revival swept the American colonies, England, Wales and Scotland, and George Whitefield’s preaching was the catalyst that sparked much of that spiritual stirring.
Whitefield (and the name is pronounced “Whit-field” rather than “White-field”) was probably the most celebrated preacher and religious leader of his day. John and Charles Wesley were part of the same evangelical revival in England and Jonathan Edwards led the way for renewal in America, but Whitefield crisscrossed the Atlantic thirteen times and was a major force for revival on both sides of the ocean. Wherever Whitefield travelled, throngs of people turned out to hear him preach. Long before large auditoriums or loud-speaker amplification existed, Whitefield raised his voice to speak to thousands of people and to call them to faith in Jesus Christ.