Winner of a Christianity Today 2005 Book Award! The word evangelical is widely used and widely misunderstood.
Where did evangelicals come from?
What motivated them?
How did their influence become so widespread throughout the world during the eighteenth century?
In this paper edition of this inaugural book in a series that charts the course of English-speaking evangelicalism over the last 300 years, Mark Noll offers a multinational narrative of the origin, development and rapid diffusion of evangelical movements in their first two generations. Theology, hymnody, gender, warfare, politics and science are all taken into consideration. But the focus is on the landmark individuals, events and organizations that shaped the story of the beginnings of this vibrant Christian movement. The revivals in Britain and North America in the mid-eighteenth century proved to be foundational in the development of the movement, its ethos, beliefs and subsequent direction. In these revivals, the core commitments of evangelicals were formed that continue to this day. In this volume you will find the fascinating story of their formation, their strengths and their weaknesses, but always their dynamism.
Mark A. Noll
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I am a scientist with an interest in church history, not a professional historian. But in my limited view, this is an important book. Covering the period of 1740 to 1795, it is the first of a five volume series edited by Noll on the history of evangelicalism. It appears to be a scholarly treatment of a topic of which I knew relatively little.
I knew something about Edwards, Whitefield, and the Wesleys but, if nothing else, this book was worth reading to learn the striking story of William McCulloch, "a somewhat colourless parish minister" in the village of Cambuslang, just outside Glasgow. Despite John Wesley's view that Scots were a people that "hear much, know everything, and feel nothing", MuCulloch appears to have been a dedicated pastor who loved his parishioners and they reciprocated by responding to his preaching. At communion time in 1742 a reawakening broke out in this village that changed the course of the Scottish Kirk. I wish I had known William...
I've always admired Mark Noll as one of the foremost historians in the evangelical community. His scholarship is balanced, his judgments are nuanced, and his work is meticulous. What he hasn't been in the past is interesting and fun to read.
That has changed with this compelling first volume in a five volume series on evangelical history. Mark discusses the three antecedents of American and British evangelicalism: Pietism, Calvinism, and high church Anglicanism. He highlights influential works by Cotton mather and Jacob Spener, and he depicts the spiritual lethargic landscape in the days prior to the Northampton revival of 1734.
He then discusses the powerful ministries of Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, and John and Charles Wesley. He shows how evangelicalism was shaped by what God did through their preaching and writing. He underscores epochal sermons by Edwards on justification, and Whitefield's inspiring extemporaneous sermons that took the colonies by...
This work is the first in a projected 5 volume series on the history of evangelicalism. It explains the origins of the movement in a confluence of English, Continental pietist, and American Puritan influences in the first half of the eighteenth century, and follows the movement through 1795.
Due to the involvement of evangelicals in politics in recent years, there is a great deal of interest by those outside the movement in coming to a better understanding of who evangelicals are. This book would make a good start. Hopefully, the forthcoming volumes will further the story as effectively as this one.
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