the neener wrote:<br><br><<Charles, you do
seem like you believe in the ways of Finney. Finney's
beliefs are too individualistic and emotional, and you
lean that way too. Be careful.>><br><br>This is
far too dismissive of the theology of Charles
Grandison Finney. Finney was a serious theologian in
addition to being an evangelist. He published a series of
lectures on theology and a complete Systematic Theology.
His voice, like the voices of Wesley and the Holiness
movement, are not often heard in the popular evangelical
theology of our day, but need to be heard and
heeded.<br><br>Wesley and the protestant reformers before him could be
described as "too individualistic." Finney was also, but he
recognized that a passion for just social reform was a
necessary consequence of genuine Christian faith. This
cannot be said of the kind of "revivalism" of our day.
The revivalism that grew out of Finney's evangelism
was closely tied to issues like the abolition of
slavery, the temperance movement, women's sufferage, etc.
To say that Finney was "too individualistic" is
unfair. Most evangelical Christians are too
individualistic in *our* day!<br><br>For me, the close relation
between evangelism and social reform in the 19th Century
revivalism (of which Finney was the founder!) is one of the
things that makes it abidingly interesting.<br><br>And
the neener also wrote:<br><br><<Christianity
should not be emotionalism either. Back then, as well as
some places now, evidences of Christian conversion was
barking, fainting, and sometimes even vomiting. In many
places, American Christianity is 'feel good'
religion.>><br><br>I think these remarks are also unfair. Finney
believed that faith in Christ had clear *moral*
consequences. This is what he stressed in his
teaching.<br><br><<Finney went so far as to say that revival is not a
miracle; revival is a predictable event that occurs when
'constituted means' are used correctly. Revival is nothing but
a formula that man must put together. The Church of
the Nazarene has been influenced by this too. We
basically have 100 steps to revival. Check out
www.nazarenerevivalism.org>><br><br>Finney's view here was a bit extreme, but its opposite
(that revival is wholly the work of God) is even more
dangerous. And, this seems to have become the dominant view!
This encourages us to equate the effects of human
emotion directly with the working "of the Holy Spirit!"!
Thus, any emotional outbreak /affect becomes identified
with "God"! Recognizing the human element in revival
is healthy and correct. Currnetly people involved in
"revivalism" (esp. of the charismatic sort) do not recognize
the human aspect of it, and attribute to much to
"God." Nature and grace work together. I personally
prefer Finney's view to the views of his
followers.<br><br><<I disagree with much of the beliefs of Finney, as
you might could tell.>><br><br>Finney's
writings are worth another look!<br><br>Craig L.
Adams<br>Weidman United Methodist Church<br>Weidman, MI