George Whitefield: God's Anointed Servant in the Great Revival of the Eighteenth Centuryby Arnold A. Dallimore
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God's accomplishments through George Whitefield are to this day virtually unparalleled. In an era when many ministers were timid and apologetic in their preaching, he preached the gospel with zeal and undaunted courage. In the wake of his fearless preaching, revival swept across the British Isles, and the Great Awakening transformed the American colonies.
The previous two-volume work George Whitefield: The Life and Times of the Great Evangelist of the Eighteenth-Century Revival is now condensed into this single volume, filled with primary-source quotations from the eighteenth century, not only from Whitefield but also from prominent figures such as John and Charles Wesley, Benjamin Franklin, and William Cowper.
Best Trait: Dallimore has Two Volumes on Whitefield. This book is a summary of those volumes. He does an excellent job giving us a concise overview of Whitefield’s life. Unfortunately, George Whitefield is one of those people in Church History that is too often overlooked. Dallimore writes in such a way that not only will you appreciate the ministry of George Whitfield, but you will be challenged on your own walk with the Lord.
Worst Trait: At times, the timeline can be a little difficult to follow, but not so much that it really affects the value of this book.
Summary: Biographies are something we all need to read more of. Reading about a great man of faith who lived in a different time period than you should help cultivate humility in your life as well as encouraging, convicting, and challenging you in your walk.
Inspiration/Conviction Power: 9
Practical Usefulness: 9
If you don’t know much about Whitefield you should. Perhaps you’ve dismissed him simply because he is of a different denominational persuasion than you. If you read this biography you will see Whitefield’s zeal for the gospel, passion in preaching, heart for discipleship, and desire for unity that is grounded in the gospel, not denominational allegiance.
Dallimore writes “When the present author is stirring at 7 in the morning, he frequently reminds himself that Whitfield had been active since 4. Arising at that early time, he spent the first hour in communion with God…At 5 he preached, and virtually always to a host of men and women…And by 7 Whitfield had often set out on an evangelistic journey or was writing letters or meeting the first of the number who came seeking spiritual advice” (pg. 196).
No doubt there are other good works on Whitefield out there. Both Steve Lawson and Thomas Kidd have books on him that I highly recommend. I think, however, that this book by Arnold Dallimore is where I would have anyone who is interested in learning more about this great man of God begin. You will not regret learning more about George Whitefield.