Resources On Revivals And Revivalism

The nature, origins, and status of revivals and revivalism is a contested issue among scholars and popular writers on these topics. It is a question even whether revivals and revivalism are properly distinguished and if so how? There are narratives about revivals and revivalism that distinguish the two sharply (most of the time but not consistently), which are essentially tribal in nature. They serve to assure one tribe (e.g., predestinarians) that the First Great Awakening was a good revival but the revival movements that composed the Second Great Awakening were (more or less) bad (except when they were not). This narrative has been internalized by a lot of folk in the modern Presbyterian and Reformed world it is the lens through which they see the questions.

When I first began to study these questions I came to them using that lens, even though my methodological commitments as a historian, or at least someone who attempts to write history academically, told me that such an approach is broken from the start. As soon as I dove into both the primary sources and the academic secondary literature I was driven to very different conclusions. I summarized this research in Recovering the Reformed Confession (2007), 71–116.

I came to this field from the perspective of a scholar of post-Reformation Reformed orthodoxy. What I saw, in the accounts of Edwards, Whitefield, et al. alerted me right away that they were operating with a very different paradigm for piety and practice and how those relate to theology than that which I had seen among the sixteenth-century Reformers and their orthodox and scholastic successors in the 17th century.

Whether I got it right is for others to judge but this is the secondary literature that (for the most part, at least one work listed was completed well after I published RRC but which is an excellent and relevant study) informed my study of revival and revivalism. There are included some popular essays on related topics that have appeared on the HB since the publication of RRC.

—R. Scott Clark

Balke, W. Calvin and the Anabaptist Radicals. trans. W. J. Heynen. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1981. 

Bebbington, D. W. Evangelicalism in Modern Britain: A History From the 1730s to the 1980s. London: Unwin Hyman, 1989.

Beck, Andreas J. “Gisbertus Voetius (1589–1676): Basic Features of His Doctrine of God,” in Reformation and Scholasticism: An Ecumenical Enterprise, eds. W. J. and Eef Dekker van Asselt. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2001.

Beeke, Joel. Forerunner of the Great Awakening: Sermons by Theodorus Jacobus Frelinghuysen (1691–1747). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000.

Beeke, Joel. “Gisbertus Voetius: Toward a Reformed Marriage of Knowledge and Piety,” in Protestant Scholasticism: Essays in Reassessment, eds. Carl R. Trueman and R. Scott Clark Carlisle, UK: Paternoster, 1999.

Brown, Dale W. Understanding Pietism. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1978.

Brown, George. “Pietism and the Reformed Tradition.” Reformed Review 30 (1977): 143–52.

Clark, R. Scott, Anti-Scholasticism, Revival(ism), Pietism, Or The Reformed Theology, Piety, And Practice?Clark, R. Scott. “George Whitefield,” Tabletalk. October, 2003.

Clark, R. Scott. Asbury Is Having A Revival (Again)

Clark, R. Scott. Asbury Is Ending Another Revival

Clark, R. Scott. Between Hagiography And Cynicism

Clark, R. Scott, Of Icons, Wonder Years, And The Gospel.

Clark, R. Scott. Recovering the Reformed Confession (Phillipsburg: P&R Publishing, 2008).

Clark, R. Scott. “‘Magic and Noise:’ Reformed Christianity in Sister’s America,” in eds. R. Scott Clark and Joel E. Kim Always Reformed: Essays in Honor of W. Robert Godfrey. Escondido: Westminster Seminary California, 2010, 74–91. (Apple Books version)

Conforti, Joseph A.  Jonathan Edwards, Religious Tradition, and American Culture.  Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1995.

Conforti, Joseph A. Samuel Hopkins and the New Divinity Movement: Calvinism, the Congregational ministry and Reform in Newland Between the Great Awakenings. Grand Rapids: Christian University Press, 1981.

Crisp, Oliver. D. “How ‘Occasional’ Was Edwards’ Occasionalism?,” in Jonathan Edwards: Philosophical Theologian, ed. Paul Helm and Oliver D. Crisp. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2003, 61–77.

Eversly, Walter V. L. “The Pastor as Revivalist.” in S. H. Lee and A. C. Guelzo, ed., Edwards in Our Time. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999.

Fiering, Norman. “The Rationalist Foundations of Jonathan Edwards’s Metaphysics,” in Jonathan Edwards and the American Experience. ed. Nathan O. Hatch and Harry S. Stout. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.

Finney, Charles G.Lectures on Systematic Theology. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1964.

Gerstner, John H. and Jonathan Neil Gerstner, “Edwardsean Preparation for Salvation,” Westminster Theological Journal 42 (1979): 5–71.

Gibbs, Norman B. and Lee W. Gibbs. “Charles Chauncy: A Theology in Two Portraits.” Harvard Theological Review 83 (1990): 259–70.

Gibbs, Norman B. and Lee W. Gibbs. “‘In Our Nature’: The Kenotic Christology of Charles Chauncy.” Harvard Theological Review 85 (1992): 217–33.

Godfrey, W. Robert. “Jonathan Edwards and Authentic Spiritual Experience.”  Knowing the Mind of God: Papers Read at the 2003 Westminster Conference. London, 2004.

Gerrish, B. A. The Old Protestantism and the New: Essays on the Reformation Heritage. Chicago: University of Chicago, 1982.

Hambrick-Stowe, Charles. “The ‘Inward, Sweet Sense’ of Christ in Jonathan Edwards.” in The Legacy of Jonathan Edwards: American Religion and the Evangelical Tradition. ed. D. G. Hart, et al. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2003.

Hart, D. G. “Jonathan Edwards and the Origins of Experiential Calvinism” in D. G. Hart, et al. ed. The Legacy of Jonathan Edwards: American Religion and the Evangelical Tradition. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2003.

Hart, D. G. John Williamson Nevin: High Church Calvinist. American Reformed Biographies. ed. D. G. Hart and Sean Michael Lucas. Phillipsburg: P&R Publishing, 2005.

Hart, D. G. The Lost Soul of American Protestantism. Lanham, MD: Roman and Littlefield, 2002.

Hart, D. G. and John R. Muether, Seeking a Better Country: 300 Years of American Presbyterianism. Phillipsburg: P&R Publishing, 2007.

Holifield, E. Brooks. Theology in America: Christian Thought from the Age of the Puritans to the Civil War. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003.

Holmes. Stephen R., “Does Jonathan Edwards Use a Dispositional Ontology? A Response to Sang Hyun Lee,” in Jonathan Edwards: Philosophical Theologian. eds. Paul Helm, and Oliver D. Crisp. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2003, 99–114.

Howerzyl, Tricia L. “Peace And Purity Provided By Authority: John Thomson’s Defense Of Presbyterian Church Polity.” M. A. Thesis. Escondido, CA. Westminster Seminary California, 2011.

Hunsinger, George. “Dispositional Soteriology: Jonathan Edwards on Justification by Faith Alone.” Westminster Theological Journal 66 (2004): 107–20.

Knox  R. A. Enthusiasm: A Chapter in the History of Religion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1950.

Lambert, Frank. Inventing “the Great Awakening.” Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1999.

Lee, Sang Hyun. The Philosophical Theology of Jonathan Edwards. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1988.

Landsman, Ned C.From Colonials to Provincials: American Thought and Culture 1680–1760. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1997.

Logan Jr., Samuel T. Logan, “The Doctrine of Justification in the Theology of Jonathan Edwards,” Westminster Theological Journal 46 (1984): 26–52.

Lloyd-Jones, D. M.  Joy Unspeakable: Power and Renewal in the Holy Spirit. Wheaton: Harold Shaw, 1984).

Lloyd-Jones, D. M. Puritans: Their Origins and Successors. Addresses Delivered at the Puritan and Westminster Conferences: 1959–1978. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust 1987.

Lloyd-Jones, D. M. Revival.  Westchester: Crossway Books, 1987.

Lloyd-Jones, D. M. “Revival: An Historical and Theological Survey,” in Puritan Papers. Volume 1: 1956–1959, ed. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2000, 297–99.

Lloyd-Jones, D. M.  The Sovereign Spirit: Discerning His Gifts. Wheaton: Harold Shaw, 1985.

Loetscher, Lefferts A.Facing the Enlightenment and Pietism: Archibald Alexander and the Founding of Princeton Theological Seminary, vol. 8, Contributions to the Study of Religion. Westport, CN: Greenwood Press, 1983.

Lucas, Sean Michael. “Jonathan Edwards: Between Church and Academy,” in D. G. Hart, Sean Michael Lucas, and Stephen J. Nichols, eds. The Legacy of Jonathan Edwards: American Religion and the Evangelical Tradition. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2003, 228–47.

Marsden, George M. Jonathan Edwards: A Life. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2003.

Marsden, George. M. “Perry Miler’s Rehabilitation of the Puritans: A Critique,” Church History 39 (1970): 91–105.

McLoughlin, Jr. William G. Modern Revivalism: Charles Grandison Finney to Billy Graham. New York: The Ronald Press, 1959.

McClymond, Michael J. “Salvation and Divinization: Jonathan Edwards and Gregory Palamas and the Theological Uses of Neoplatonism.” in Jonathan Edwards: Philosophical Theologian, eds. Paul Helm, and Oliver Crisp (Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2003.

McGinn, Bernard. The Foundations of Mysticism. New York: Crossroad, 1991.

Melton, Julius. Presbyterian Worship in America: Changing Patterns Since 1787. Richmond: John Knox Press, 1967.

Miller, Perry. Jonathan Edwards. Westport, CN: Greenwood Press; reprint, 1973.

Miller, Samuel. Life of Jonathan Edwards. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1840.

Morrison, Jeffrey H. John Witherspoon and the Founding of the American Republic. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2005.

Muller, Richard A. Jonathan Edwards And The Absence Of Free Choice: A Parting Of Ways In The Reformed Tradition.

Murray, Iain H. Revival and Revivalism: The Making and Marring of American Evangelicalism 1750-1858. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1994.

Nevin, John Williamson, The Anxious Bench, 2nd ed. Chambersburg, PA: Reformed Church in the United States, 1844.

Nichols, Stephen J. An Absolute Sort of Certainty: The Holy Spirit in the Apologetics of Jonathan Edwards. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2003.

Noll, Mark. A. America’s God: From Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Noll, Mark A. “The Contested Legacy of Jonathan Edwards in Antebellum Calvinism,” in Reckoning with the Past: Historical Essays on American Evangelicalism from the Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals, ed. D. G. Hart. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1995, 200–17.

Pope, Robert G. The Half-Way Covenant. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1969.

Prozesky, Martin H.  “The Emergence of Dutch Pietism,” Journal of Ecclesiastical History 28 (1977): 29–37.

Rieff, Philip. The Triumph of the Therapeutic: The Use of Faith After Freud. 40th Anniversary Edition. Wilmington: ISI Books, 2006.

Roberts, Richard Owen. Revival. Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, 1982.

Schafer, Thomas A. “Jonathan Edwards and Justification By Faith.” Church History 20 (1951): 55–67.

Schmidt, Leigh Eric. Holy Fairs: Scotland and the Making of American Revivalism. 2nd Edition. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2001.

Sprague, William B. Lectures on Revivals of Religion. Reset ed. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 2007.

Steward, Gary. “Faith and Obedience in Jonathan Edwards’ Understanding of Justification By Faith Alone.” Unpublished paper, 2006.

Stoeffler, F. E. The Rise of Evangelical Pietism. Leiden: Brill, 1971.

Stout, Harry S. The Divine Dramatist: George Whitefield and the Rise of Modern Evangelicalism.Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1991.

Sweet, W. W. Religion in Colonial America. New York: Cooper Square Publishers, repr. 1965.

Sweet, W. W. Revivalism in America: Its Origin, Growth and Decline. Gloucester, MA: Peter Smith, 1965.

Tanis, James. “Reformed Pietism in Colonial America,” in Continental Pietism and Early American Christianity, ed. F. E. Stoeffler. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1976.

Tillich, Paul. A History of Christian Thought. New York, Simon and Schuster, 1967.

Trinterud, Leonard. The Forming of An American Tradition: A Re-Examination of Colonial Presbyterianism. Freeport, NY: Books for Libraries Press, 1949; reprint 1970.

Turner, James. Without God, without Creed: The Origins of Unbelief in America, New Studies in American Intellectual and Cultural History. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1985.

Van Asselt, Willem J. The Federal Theology of Johannes Cocceius (1603–1669), ed. Robert J. Bast, trans. Raymond J. Blacketer. Studies in the History of Christian Thought. Leiden: Brill, 2001.

Waddington, Jeffrey C.  “Jonathan Edwards’s ‘Ambiguous and Somewhat Precarious Doctrine of Justification,” Westminster Theological Journal 66 (2004): 357–72.

Wallace, Peter. “Old Light on the New Side: John Thomson and Gilbert Tennent on the Great Awakening.” Unpublished and undated.

Weborg, C. John. “Pietism: Theology in Service of Living Toward God,” in The Variety of American Evangelicalism. ed. Donald W.  Dayton and Robert K. Johnston. Downers Grove: Inter-Varsity Press, 1991.

Weeks, Andrew. German Mysticism from Hildegard of Bingen to Ludwig Wittgenstein: A Literary and Intellectual History. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1993.

Williams, Garry. “Was Evangelicalism Created By the Enlightenment?.” Tyndale Bulletin 53 (2002): 283–312.

Williams, G. H. The Radical Reformation. 3rd ed. Kirksville, MO: Sixteenth Century Publishers, 1992.

Winiarski, Douglas L. “Jonathan Edwards, Enthusiast? Radical Revivalism and the Great Awakening in the Connecticut Valley,” Church History 74:4 (December 2005), 683–84.

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