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The Forerunner

Revival - Charles G. Finney

By Jay Rogers
Published March 31, 2008

“When he opened his mouth he was aiming a gun. When he spoke bombardment began. The effects of his speaking were almost unparalleled in modern history. Over half a million people were converted through his ministry … in an age when there were no amplifiers or mass communications, he spearheaded a revival which literally altered the course of history“1

Charles Finney was born the year after Wesley died; appropriately, because the revival events of Finney’s life became the link from the First Great Awakening of one century to the Second Great Awakening of the next. His life and writings influenced more people toward revival and social reform than any other preacher of the last century. He hated slavery with a passion and became a champion of many social reform issues of the 18th century. His convictions were born in the fires of revival and shaped by a keen lawyer’s mind committed to the full authority of the Bible. So effective were his writings that they have been the impetus for revivals around the world since his death.2

Extravagant and emotional in his preaching, perhaps no other revivalist of his day was as effective and controversial as Finney. Everywhere he went tumult followed him – it was either revival or riot – reminiscent of the power that followed the first century apostles in the Book of Acts. His most controversial measures included allowing women to lead prayer during meetings, appealing by name to sinners while preaching, long protracted meetings without a planned format, and teaching the possibility, even the necessity, of totally eradicating sin both in the individual and in society. Some estimate that over 80% of his converts during the revivals stayed true to Christ without ever backsliding. This was due to his urgent message stressing holiness and purity. In later years, he moved away from sensationalism and put more emphasis on the power of the Holy Spirit through prayer.

As a theologian, he is best know for his Revival Lectures. No other books have been so mightily used of God to promote true biblical revival. In it, he explains what a revival is and treats at length related subjects as the place of faith and prayer in relation to revival; the need for the baptism in the Holy Spirit; methods to be used in the quest for souls; hindrances to revivals; instructions to new converts; and how to grow in grace.3

1 Perry Miller, Charles Finney, cover.
2 Finney, The Heart of Truth, cover.
3 Winkie Pratney, Revival, (Whitaker House, Springdale, PA, 1983) pp. 116-127.

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Your comments are welcome!

Hi, when I gave my life to Christ in the 1970’s I heard about Finney and started studying and reading his material.

Posted by Robert Ward on 11/02/2008 07:58 AM #

Hello all,
Charles Finney is an Eagle of God.The years now need people like him to ignite true compassion and realistic godly living in the world.He is one of my heroes.He talks to the mind.Smith Wigglesworth another hero of mine talks to the emotions.George Mueller another eagle of God talks to the unreasoning faith on God.Follow these heroes’ sermons and you will never be the same again.

Posted by Devakumar Bhagavandas on 12/26/2008 08:22 AM #

This is totally counter to what I have read about Finney previously. Suprised to find such affirmation of him on a site that supports calvinism.

Posted by PJ on 08/10/2009 01:57 PM #

Please pray for me; I have strong passion to impact my generation with true revival as Evangelist C. G. Finney impacted his generation.

Posted by Yakubu Stephen Adebamigbe on 12/02/2009 10:09 AM #

The first time I heard about him was my early teens during a fasting and pprayer.I was so fascinated by his great successes that I wish God could help me to be greatly used even more like him.O God you know this has been my desire.Raise up your men for this end time;Raise up a great army of the cross O Lord

Posted by ogunji seyi on 03/01/2010 09:39 PM #

If I can surrender and work like this man “Finney” oooh I will be more comfortable in my Xtian journey. I pray GOD will do it. amen

Posted by Gabriel Niyi Orokunle on 03/04/2010 10:19 AM #

I had heard of Finney in the late 1980’s. I was drawn to his works and have since collected or read everything that he had written. A great man GREATLY used of God

Posted by Lee Sanborn on 06/22/2010 06:17 PM #

Finney is indeed a man ablaze for God; and if God should ask me to choose an anointing I will definately choose that of Finney.

Posted by O.B Emmanuel on 04/05/2011 02:25 PM #

Finney’s messages from God has really inspired me over the years. He humbled himself to Jesus and was used mightily to rescue the perishing. I desire to be used in like manner by God.

Posted by Dr. Vincent Logah on 11/11/2011 07:42 AM #

I have a similar passion for revival, similar leading and I’ve began to have similar experience this man had. I believe the greatest revival ever is on the way.

Posted by Ayokunle aremu on 10/06/2012 10:13 PM #

I just want to challenge everyone on this website and say… Although Charles G. Finney was used in a mighty way and was a vessel to be poured out, a mightier work is coming. We have to be prepared for the new works of God that He will do, because they are bigger than the old works. They need more revelation than ever before. You may want the glory that Charles Finney had, but are you willing to pay the price that he paid? This life takes some serious sacrifice of your own life, and a heart that is open to whatever God might say. Be prepared for your theology to shift a little, if not a lot.

Posted by Casaundra Adahl on 04/29/2013 12:17 AM #

I have the same zeal like him and intended to live for Lord.

Posted by vijsyskumsrdass on 01/12/2014 05:35 AM #

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The United States of America 2.0: The Great Reset (Book)

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In 1776, a short time after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin were assigned to design an official seal for the United States of America. Their proposed motto was Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God. America owes its existence to centuries of Christian political philosophy. Our nation provided a model for liberty copied by nations the world over.

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The Abortion Matrix: Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death (DVD)

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Is there a connection between pagan religion and the abortion industry?

This powerful presentation traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God and crime against humanity has produced in our beleaguered society.

Conceived as a sequel and update to the 1988 classic, The Massacre of Innocence, the new title, The Abortion Matrix, is entirely fitting. It not only references abortion’s specific target – the sacred matrix where human beings are formed in the womb in the very image of God, but it also implies the existence of a conspiracy, a matrix of seemingly disparate forces that are driving this holocaust.

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The Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of ChristThe Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of Christ (DVD)

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Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.

Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.

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A Revival Account: Asbury 1970 (DVD)

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Frank Schaeffer Will You Please Shut Up! (Book)

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A Reasonable Response to Christian Postmodernism

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The title of this book is a misnomer. In reality, I am not trying to get anyone to shut up, but rather to provoke a discussion. This book is a warning about the philosophy of “Christian postmodernism” and the threat that it poses not only to Christian orthodoxy, but to the peace and prosperity our culture as well. The purpose is to equip the reader with some basic principles that can be used to refute their arguments.

Part 1 is a response to some of the recent writings by Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. This was originally written as a defense against Frank’s attacks on pro-life street activism – a movement that his father helped bring into being through his books, A Christian Manifesto, How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? These works have impacted literally hundreds of thousands of Christian activists.

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The Abortion Matrix:
Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death

is a 195-minute presentation that traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God has produced. You can order this series on DVD, read the complete script and view clips on-line...
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