George Whitefield America's Spiritual Founding Father Thomas S. Kidd

Format:
Paperback
Publication date:
06 Sep 2016
ISBN:
9780300223583
Imprint:
Yale University Press
Dimensions:
344 pages: 235 x 156mm
Illustrations:
13 b-w illus.

Categories:

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An engaging, balanced, and penetrating narrative biography of the charismatic eighteenth-century American evangelist

In the years prior to the American Revolution, George Whitefield was the most famous man in the colonies. Thomas Kidd’s fascinating new biography explores the extraordinary career of the most influential figure in the first generation of Anglo-American evangelical Christianity, examining his sometimes troubling stands on the pressing issues of the day, both secular and spiritual, and his relationships with such famous contemporaries as Benjamin Franklin, Jonathan Edwards, and John Wesley.
 
Based on the author’s comprehensive studies of Whitefield’s original sermons, journals, and letters, this excellent history chronicles the phenomenal rise of the trailblazer of the Great Awakening. Whitefield’s leadership role among the new evangelicals of the eighteenth century and his many religious disputes are meticulously covered, as are his major legacies and the permanent marks he left on evangelical Christian faith. It is arguably the most balanced biography to date of a controversial religious leader who, though relatively unknown three hundred years after his birth, was a true giant in his day and remains an important figure in America’s history.

Thomas S. Kidd is distinguished professor of history at Baylor University. He lives in Waco, TX.

"This superb chronicle of George Whitefield’s life is now our fullest biography for the much-studied and much-debated eighteenth-century evangelist.  It combines unusual empathy with unusual comprehension."—Mark Noll, author of The Rise of Evangelicalism: The Age of Edwards, Whitefield and the Wesleys
 
"George Whitefield: America’s Spiritual Founding Father traces the life of perhaps the most important evangelical leader in American history, the minister most responsible for the rise of the evangelical movement in the decades before the American Revolution. Thomas Kidd introduces us to a flawed but deeply religious man whose passionate preaching inspired thousands of Americans to become evangelical Christians. Lucid, well-researched, and insightful, this book is an absorbing account of Whitefield’s remarkable life and ministry."—Catherine Brekus, author of Sarah Osborn's World: The Rise of Evangelical Christianity in Early America
 
"Thomas Kidd’s judicious portrait places Whitefield at the center of the transatlantic evangelical awakening, where he belongs."—Bruce Hindmarsh, author of The Evangelical Conversion Narrative: Spiritual Autobiography in Early Modern England
 
"Thoroughly researched, and rooted in an exact knowledge of Whitefield’s times; critically perceptive while remaining appreciatively sympathetic; this is the best balanced and most illuminating chronicle of the Anglo-American Awakener’s career that has yet been produced."—J.I. Packer, Professor of Theology, Regent College
 
"I commend this book to any serious student of American history. British by birth, George Whitefield is in fact woven into the spiritual fabric of our own nation—he was a central figure in the Great Awakening of the early American colonies, his rousing sermons and booming voice stirring thousands. He truly is, in the words of Kidd, 'America’s Spiritual Founding Father.'"—Frank Wolf, Congressman of the 10th District of Virginia