Charles Grandison Finney


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American evangelist. In 1821 he underwent a conversion experience. He was ordained by the Presbytery of Oneida, NY, in 1824, and began his rise to prominence as an itinerant revivalist preacher. In 1835 he was appointed Professor of Theology at Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio; in 1837, abandoning Presbyterianism, he also became pastor of a Congregational church in the town. Almost single-handedly, he transformed revivalism in America. He popularized so-called ‘new measures’: ‘protracted meetings’ (with the cessation of non-religious activity over several days), the ‘anxious bench’, prayer meetings, public prayer for individuals by name, and a dramatic pulpit style. He became an opponent of Calvinism and predestination, espousing a theology of human responsibility and agency in conversion.

Subjects: Christianity.

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