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Revival and Revivalism: The Making and Marring of American Evangelicalism 1750-1858 (Iain H. Murray)

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Marrying careful historical research to popular and relevant presentation, Revival & Revivalism traces the spiritually epoch-making events of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries through the eyes of those who lived at their centre.

Fundamental to the book’s thesis is a rejection of the frequent identification of ‘revival’ with ‘revivalism’. The author demonstrates that a common understanding of the New Testament idea of revival was prevalent in most denominations throughout the period 1750-1858. Revivalism, on the other hand, is different both in its origin and in its tendencies. Its ethos is mancentred and its methods too close to the manipulative to require a supernatural explanation.

Iain Murray argues that an inability to recognize this distinction has led many to ignore the new and different teaching on evangelism and revival which began to be popularized in the 1820s. While the case against that teaching was argued almost universally by the leaders of the Second Great Awakening their testimony was submerged beneath propaganda which promised a ‘new era’ if only the churches would abandon the older ways.

Today, when that propaganda is largely discredited, there is a great need to rediscover the earlier understanding of revival possessed by those who most intimately experienced it. Revival & Revivalism will do much to aid this rediscovery. Powerfully presented, it contains a message of major importance for contemporary Christians.


‘In Revival & Revivalism Iain H. Murray has produced yet another historical study of outstanding quality. This is not merely a record of the church’s past. Rather, those who read it will soon realize that it provides a key to understanding contemporary evangelicalism and its deep needs. It may not be too much to claim that this volume is essential reading for Christians who desire true revival in the churches of our own day.’ — DR. SINCLAIR B. FERGUSON 

Table of Contents

Illustrations    ix

Preface    xi

Introduction    xiii

1    Samuel Davies and the Meaning of 'Revival'    1

2    Princeton and the First Fruits of 'A Glorious Plan’    33

3    Glory in Virginia    61

4    When Theology Took Fire    89

5    The Age of the Second Great Awakening    111

6    Kentucky: 1800    143

7    The Emergence of Revivalism    161

8    Five Leaders in the Northeast    191

9    'New Measures' and Old Revivals?    223

10    Origins of a Great Division    253

11    ’The Illusion of a New Era'    275

12    The Baptists in Transition    299

13    James Waddel Alexander and the New York Awakening of 1857-58    329

14    Old and New, Past and Future    355


1: Revivalism in Britain    391

2: Revivals in the South    415

Title Index    425

General Index    435

Product Details

Title: Revival and Revivalism: The Making and Marring of American Evangelicalism 1750-1858 

Author: Iain H. Murray

Publisher: Banner of Truth

Pages: 480

Binding: Cloth-bound

Size: 22.3 x 14.6 x 3.1 cm

ISBN: 9780851516608

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