Notes and links from Susan Conway


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In the 19th century revivals broke out in America, but these latter-day outbursts were not accompanied by deep biblical, theological reflection. Thus Ian Murray makes the distinction between "revival" (e.g. Great Awakening) and "revivalism" (19th century movements) in his book, Revivals and Revivalism (Banner of Truth Trust).


Charles Finney and Dwight L. Moody each adopted novel methods to get the sinner to show some outward sign of repentance. Moody, A.B. Simpson and John R. Mott worked to mobilize as many Christians as possible to go to China, India and Africa as missionaries. Mott's famous slogan in the 1890s was: "the evangelization of the world in this our generation."


The pragmatic spirit permeated the revival of the 1830s (Finney) and 1860s (Moody). Thousands of Americans - mostly young college graduates, often with their newlywed spouses - sailed for the mission field in the 1880s and 1890s, and on into the 20th century. M. Searle Bates, in his article (in John K. Fairbank, ed., The Missionary Enterprise in China and America) tells us that the average American missionary who went to China between 1900 and 1950 received a liberal arts education in a church-related college, which included two or three Bible or religion courses.



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