Interpretations III: Edwards and the Revival Tradition

Michael J. McClymond and Gerald R. McDermott

in The Theology of Jonathan Edwards

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199791606
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932290 | DOI:
Interpretations III: Edwards and the Revival Tradition

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Edwards's theology of revival has extended well beyond the Great Awakening. His desire to maintain a balance between openness and caution has resulted in selective readings by a variety of groups and individuals from the nineteenth century to the present day. For example, Charles Finney associated himself with Edwards while simultaneously rejecting many aspects of his theology. Charles Hodge was more severe, eventually concluding that the revivals had gone wrong under Edwards's watch. Although Wesleyan roots have dominated the current understanding of Pentecostalism, Edwards once again reemerged as a key figure in the Charismatic renewal movement in the 1960s-70s, the Vineyard Church in the 1980s, and the Toronto Blessing in the 1990s. Proponents and opponents alike appeal to Edwards for support.

Keywords: revivalism; revival tradition; Charles Finney; Charles Hodge; Pentecostalism; Charismatic movement; John Wesley; Toronto Blessing

Chapter.  8686 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Christian Theology

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