No history of American Christianity can omit the life and theology of Charles Finney. He is one of the most recognized—and controversial—evangelists, theologians, and preachers of the nineteenth century, and was the strongest voice of the Second Great Awakening. He promoted spontaneous and extemporaneous preaching, emphasized authentic and emotional expressions of faith, and established the principles and practices of revival which have become commonplace in American Christianity. Finney’s name is still regularly woven into modern theological discourse, testifying to his impact on the history of American Christianity.
The 6-volume Charles Finney Collection from Logos includes all of Finney’s lectures on revivals, including his famous lecture, “How to Promote a Revival,” his Lectures on Systematic Theology and Lectures to Professing Christians, along with two volumes of his sermons. What’s more, with the power of your digital library, the entire Charles Finney Collection is fully searchable and easily accessible. Scripture references are linked to your favorite Bible translations and original texts, and important theological concepts are linked to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and the wealth of resources in your digital library.
Charles Grandison Finney was born on August 29, 1792 in Litchfield, Connecticut. He studied law, but his plans were altered when he underwent a dramatic conversion experience at the age of 29. Finney later wrote of his conversation experience: “I could feel the impression, like a wave of electricity, going through and through me. Indeed it seemed to come in waves and waves of liquid love” (from Memoirs of Rev. Charles G. Finney, included in this collection).
Finney became pastor of the Free Presbyterian Chatham Street Chapel and later the Broadway Tabernacle. He spoke as a refined and expert orator and became a widely popular evangelist, organizing and preaching at numerous revivals and meetings throughout New England. He also traveled to England. As many as one million people heard Finney preach throughout his career, and many of them underwent conversion experiences. Finney also spoke at length about social issues, and became an ardent abolitionist. In 1835, Finney was appointed as a professor of theology at Oberlin College, and became its president in 1851, where he remained until 1866.
Charles Finney died on August 17, 1875.