George Whitefield was called the Grand Itinerant for his unprecedented preaching ministry, he crossed the Atlantic Ocean numerous times and lit fires of revival on two continents. Yet, as Dr.Lawson illustrates in this latest entry in the Long Line of Godly Men Profiles series, we must note that Whitefield was a man whose extraordinary evangelistic fervor was marked by remarkable piety and deep theology, and whose unswerving devotion to his God led him to risk all that he had to preach the name of Christ.
- More than a biography
Lawson's series of biographies of godly men are outstanding. He covers the life of George Whitefield, and then much more covers the man's theology, principles and faith. Biographies that have tried to do the latter have often been boring, but not this. This bio has been written for maximum edification of the reader.
The narrator, Simon Vance, does an excellent job.
- Great Biography, will stretch your faith!
The first chapter is worth getting the book. The summary of the ministry of Whitefield is amazing and supernatural. We serve a Big God!
- totally worth the time spent
- A very rewarding book with an extensive look on this astonishing servant of God! Praise be to God for his great blessing on this sinner!
- This book contains no wasted words! It is totally worth the time spent, which cannot be said about too many books.
- Great and vivid reading by Simon Vance! He did it perfectly.
Thankful greetings from Germany
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- Fabulous and Thorough Look at the life of George Whitefield
Wow! This is a very extensive look into the life of George Whitefield; the dynamic preacher that was responsible for millions of people hearing the gospel. I learned so much about him that I didn't know before. What an incredible man with a heart solely focused on God.
The book was very thorough in the history of his life. I felt like the narrator did a great job and kept the book moving along. I definitely recommend this book to anyone that is interested in the life of the greatest evangelist since the Apostle Paul.
Thank you, ChristianAudio, for this great audiobook! As always, this is my honest opinion. Here's to many more!!
- A solid book on an amazing life
In The Evangelistic Zeal of George Whitefield, author Steven J. Lawson gives us a brief, biography of the famous revival preacher, with a twist. This book is part of the Long Line of Godly Men series, which offers commentary on the particular contributions of great spiritual men throughout history. In this case, Lawson breaks down the reasons why Whitefield was such an effective communicator of the gospel.
The first quarter of this short book is amazing. Whitefield was truly a remarkable man, crisscrossing the Atlantic over a dozen times and tirelessly preaching to crowds numbering in the thousands. Especially inspiring is Whitefield’s attitude toward the adoration the crowds. He handled celebrity with an incredible amount of maturity and an eternal perspective that is humbling.
The rest of the book is well-written and insightful, but less interesting than the biographical portion. Some stories and quotes are repeated, and I wonder if there was limited biographical information available to the author.
There are a couple missteps here and there. At one point, Lawson seems to get caught up in talking about the “Calvinistic Zeal” of George Whitefield, as he plods through the five points of Calvinism and how Whitefield exemplified the ideals of each one. This became a little tedious.
Another concerning section highlighted Whitefield’s ministry to the slaves of the American South. He is painted as a progressive who crossed racial and social boundaries in the name of the gospel. While this is partially true, Whitefield was a slave owner who expounded the benefits of slave ownership for the slaves themselves. Whitefield shaped the religious identity of the colonies that would later become America. I wonder had Whitefield shared the abolitionist tendencies of his associates, John and George Wesley, could the blight of the slave trade in America ended simultaneously with Great Britain’s?
Simon Vance does a nice job on the narration of this book. I recommend this book for those who are interested in the historical roots of evangelicalism, and those who spend their energy in gospel preaching.
Please Note: This audiobook was gifted as a part of the Christianaudio Reviewers Program in exchange for my unbiased review of this work. This has in no way influenced my opinion or review of this work.
- My Introduction to Whitefield
Lawson’s biography filled a hole I didn’t know existed in my church history. I have loved Edwards, recognized the work of the Wesley’s, but I have overlooked the giant Whitefield is. This biography is just the work to introduce and whet your appetite to know more. Be prepared to seek out sermons, to know more, if you like me have forgotten Whitefield let us overlook no more.
Lawson gathers from a multitude of sources a beautiful portrait of Whitefield. A man who preached so widely, so passionately that at least one assassination attempt was made upon his life.
Look to this volume to gain an introduction to Whitefield’s life, this is not aimed to be an exhaustive biography, but a perspectival work looking at the powerful zeal and drive that drove this man of God in his work for God. Lawson presents a largely fond picture of Whitefield, but works through his life, theology and reactions to his life. Simon Vance is always an easy voice to listen to, he reads with a smooth easy inflection drawing depth out the text with a gentle pace. May God use this work to stimulate a similar consuming passion on those who hear it that Whitefield’s legacy may be reborn in us today.
- A man more Americans knew than George Washington
George Whitefield is one of the most influential figures in American history, yet his life and ministry are largely unknown apart from the occasional person who knows he was instrumental in the Great Awakening. A number of biographies are available about him, but one of the most recent, and likely one of the most readable, is that by Steven J. Lawson, a professor, pastor, and author of 20 books.
This volume comes in at 156 pages, and rather than focusing solely on the details of his birth, life, and death, Lawson’s focus is on Whitefield’s ministry—his evangelistic zeal. Despite having learned a little more about Whitefield than I would guess the average person would know, I learned new things and developed a better appreciation for the man. He may have been famous, but he had his hecklers as well, and worse. Occasionally people would throw rotten fruit and vegetables at him. Once someone even threw a dead cat on stage when he preached. Additionally, there were a number of assassination attempts against him. Through it all, he stayed faithful to his mission and was seen and heard in person by more Americans than George Washington.
Because this isn’t a cradle-to-grave biography, some readers who prefer that style would be better served by a different book. Also, Lawson doesn’t look much at Whitefield’s family, and there’s nothing negative said about the man. He certainly did a lot of great things and was a sincere and devout individual, but everyone has some warts.
Finally, I should say that the audiobook version that was provided to me by christianaudio is narrated by Simon Vance, one of the best professional narrators I’ve had the pleasure of listening to. After browsing their website, it looks like they contracted with him to narrate the rest of the books in the biography series by Lawson.
- Very Encouraging Biography
George Whitefield is one of those names from the 18th century that many of us know, but whose story may be too often overlooked. A passionate evangelist, Whitefield preached the gospel in England and the American colonies during the same season as John Wesley and Jonathan Edwards.
Steven Lawson has risen to the challenge of helping us to understand the life, zeal, and message of George Whitefield. In a short and helpful book, Lawson introduces us to one of the greatest figures of the Great Awakening.
Two things stand out to me from Lawson’s recounting of Whitefield’s life: his suffering and his doctrine. Though I knew Whitefield to be a renowned evangelist, I had not heard of his physical weariness, the heckling of some in the crowds, or the attempts on his life. I also found it encouraging to read about Whitefield’s passionate belief in the doctrines of grace. Whitefield found strength to proclaim the gospel in his understanding that a sovereign God would draw people to himself. This trust in God’s sovereign election comforted Whitefield even as it drew to him persecution from others who did not share that doctrinal understanding.
I would recommend this work to anyone who enjoys biographies. I was greatly encouraged by Lawson’s description of Whitefield’s life, and I believe that others will be too.
I received a free copy of this work from ChristianAudio.com as a part of their reviewers program. As always, the reading and audio quality of this work lived up to ChristianAudio’s high standard of excellence.
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