As an active pastor, how Dan Nelson found time to write such a readable, masterful, well researched book on the great life of eighteenth-century evangelist, George Whitefield, I’ll never know! The amazing Whitefield’s lifespan on this earth was from December 16, 1714, until September 29, 1770, … dying on one his trips to the Colonies at just 55-years of age.
The book, titled A Burning and Shining Light – The Testimony and Witness of George Whitefield … is a “must” reading for all who want to understand the history of evangelism of the last several centuries.
The great Charles Spurgeon said that Whitefield was “… his human example of ministry.”
John MacArthur says of the book “… a wonderfully engaging chronicle of a truly great life.”
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary former president, Paige Paterson says: “George Whitefield is among the premier examples in Christendom of how a preacher ought to live … no one can read this volume and remain unchanged.” And from Chuck Kelly, President of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminar: “Dan Nelson has done a superb job of bringing a man to life that you will enjoy getting to know.”
From the book’s 23rd and 24th chapters:
“Lasting Contributions of George Whitefield” and …
“What We Must Experience through Studying Whitefield’s Life”
“George Whitefield …
- Was one of the leading forerunners of Evangelical Christianity
- Was an example of powerful preaching
- Fostered forceful doctrinal preaching
- Pioneered modern Crusade Evangelism
- Promoted the mass appeal of preaching and the Gospel
- Led in the Great Awakening spreading to unreached areas
- Is an example of whole-hearted devotion to God
- Ministry displayed a cultural appeal to all
- Was a model of Calvinistic Evangelism
- Displayed encouragement and fellowship shown in the Scriptures
- Excelled in putting no boundaries on the Gospel
- Preeminently left an influence on society and Christendom”
William Wilberforce, as a boy, heard Whitefield preach and later as a man was “set of fire” in reading his works. Wilberforce, after coming to faith in Christ, was the primary driving force to rid the British Empire of the slave trade and slavery itself!
From Peter Hoffer: “Born-Again Christians are a force in American cultural and political life. They are the inheritors of the revivalism that George Whitefield brought to America in 1739.”
Whitefield made 13 voyages across the Atlantic to and from the “Colonies,” before the United States declared Independence from Great Britain. He would preach to thousands in open fields in both Great Britain and the American colonies, begun in England because pastors in his homeland often would not let him preach in their pulpits; also, in time, because traditional church building could not hold the crowds. Thus, advancement to the Kingdom of God – “pioneer” preaching to more thousands – was born from awkward situations of resistance! It “paved the way” for later mass evangelism!
Ever faithful and committed, Whitefield refused to let disappointment win out! Following several miscarriages of his wife, one baby survived. He so hoped his newborn son would one day that his place, but after just a few months, that precious baby died.
(Like Zachariah and Elizabeth (before John the Baptist was born late in their childbearing years – Luke 1:5-7), they continued to be faithful to God – without the blessings of bearing their own children.) Disappointments also included his theological disagreement with Oxford “Holy Club” friends, John and Charles Wesley. The tensions from it improved through the years.
Though his ministry included all who would respond to his message — especially and including the poor – a very wealthy lady – “Lady Huntingdon” — was led of God to support with vast of her resources to ministries led by Whitefield, especially the Bethesda Orphanage in Georgia. And “she was the great benefactor of the early Methodist movement.” (Lady Huntingdon is depicted on page 293 of Dan Nelson’s outstanding book … A Burning and Shining Light.)
He established and always supported an orphanage, Bethesda, in the colony of (now the state of) Georgia, spending much of his life raising funds to care for the children there. (It is still functioning today, though under State of Georgia sponsorship.) He would often preach in the poorer areas of London and the British Isles. He received persecution, often hostility and opposition from those who came to ridicule him. Once a heckler climbed a tree near his place of preaching, and, to distract, exposed himself! But his passion for the people and his love of and calling from Jesus drove him on. Cautioned by those who saw his fatigue, lack of rest, and poor health, he responded shortly before he died: “I’d rather burn out than rust out!”
The book can be obtained from several sources, but for an autographed copy of Pastor Dan Nelson’s book, send $22 to: Pastor Dan Nelson, 1601 Temple, Camarillo, CA … 93010. I did such, and I am very pleased!
Dan can be contacted through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or called at 805 484-2879.
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Thinking of George Whitefield’s love for the poor, St. Louis Attorney Al Johnson – Executive Director of “New Covenant Legal Services” for the poor … with others have compiled 100 Bible verses revealing God’s “heart” for the poor, click on … http://s3.amazonaws.com/hendrick-mp3/hendrick/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/06183227/Bible-Verses-on-the-Poor-April-5.pdf .
To hear the larger interview with Al Johnson, titled … Atty Al Johnson leads “New Covenant Legal Services,” a Bible-based legal service to help the poor … click on … https://haroldhendrick.com/2018/04/04/atty-al-johnson-leads-new-covenant-legal-services-a-bible-based-legal-service-to-help-the-poor/.