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George Whitefield was called the Grand Itinerant for his unprecedented preaching ministry, he crossed the Atlantic Ocean numerous times and lit fires of revival on two continents. Yet, as Dr.Lawson illustrates in this latest entry in the Long Line of Godly Men Profiles series, we must note that Whitefield was a man whose extraordinary evangelistic fervor was marked by rema George Whitefield was called the Grand Itinerant for his unprecedented preaching ministry, he crossed the Atlantic Ocean numerous times and lit fires of revival on two continents. Yet, as Dr.Lawson illustrates in this latest entry in the Long Line of Godly Men Profiles series, we must note that Whitefield was a man whose extraordinary evangelistic fervor was marked by remarkable piety and deep theology, and whose unswerving devotion to his God led him to risk all that he had to preach the name of Christ.


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George Whitefield was called the Grand Itinerant for his unprecedented preaching ministry, he crossed the Atlantic Ocean numerous times and lit fires of revival on two continents. Yet, as Dr.Lawson illustrates in this latest entry in the Long Line of Godly Men Profiles series, we must note that Whitefield was a man whose extraordinary evangelistic fervor was marked by rema George Whitefield was called the Grand Itinerant for his unprecedented preaching ministry, he crossed the Atlantic Ocean numerous times and lit fires of revival on two continents. Yet, as Dr.Lawson illustrates in this latest entry in the Long Line of Godly Men Profiles series, we must note that Whitefield was a man whose extraordinary evangelistic fervor was marked by remarkable piety and deep theology, and whose unswerving devotion to his God led him to risk all that he had to preach the name of Christ.

30 review for The Evangelistic Zeal of George Whitefield

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dave Packard

    I am totally in awe of George Whitefield after reading this book, he was an amazing man filled with the power of God. The way the biography was set up was interesting, going completely through his life and then backtracking and going over different aspects. Worth a read through if you are inclined to this sort of thing!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Faye

    Wow, what an amazing story about a dear saint! Amazing life, amazing preacher!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jimmy

    Many years ago I heard John MacArthur say that when he’s on vacation he often read an encouraging Christian biography. I started reading this biography on the famous George Whitefield while on a short family vacation and I’m glad I read it since it was encouraging and spiritually edifying. This book is part of “A Long Line of Godly Men Profile” series published by Reformation Trust Publishing and like the other two works in this series that I read this particular volume did not disappoint. I know Many years ago I heard John MacArthur say that when he’s on vacation he often read an encouraging Christian biography. I started reading this biography on the famous George Whitefield while on a short family vacation and I’m glad I read it since it was encouraging and spiritually edifying. This book is part of “A Long Line of Godly Men Profile” series published by Reformation Trust Publishing and like the other two works in this series that I read this particular volume did not disappoint. I know very little of Whitefield prior to reading this book, other than the fact that he was a famous evangelist and preacher. This book left me amazed at what God has done through his life and also his faithfulness in serving the Lord. It also was hugely spiritually encouraging as well. For preachers after the Apostolic period Whitefild was unmatched in his evangelistic zeal. The following statistics in the book puts it in perspective. Whitefield in thirty four years of ministry preached an incredible amount of eighteen thousand sermons in which three or four sermons a day was common. Whitefield’s preaching took place not only in England but also colonial America. He was used by the Lord to bring about revivals in two continents! Eighty percent of Colonial Americans during his time has heard him preached which is more than the amount of Americans who have heard and seen Washington. We must also remember that this was a time before steamboats and airplanes; Whitefield spent three years of his life on ships for the sake of traveling to preach the Gospel outside of England and would have made seven trips to Colonial America seven times and elsewhere such as Scotland and Ireland fifteen times. During the span of his ministry over ten million people heard Whitefield preached. The summer when Whitefield first preached he preached to over a million soul and he did so at the age of twenty four. Clearly we have a lot to thank God for God using Whitefield. The book is divided into six chapters. Chapter one gives us a biographical sketch of Whitefield’s life and times. I really appreciated the fact that the author Steve Lawson is a preacher himself who is able to put Whitefield’s ministry in the context of the time and also as a minister and preacher. Chapter two is on the focused devotion Whitefield had in his spiritual life. Here we see an examination of Whitefield’s immersion with Scripture, prayer, humility and striving for holiness while being focused on Christ. Chapter three is on Whitefield’s theology of Sovereign Grace where Lawson not only presented Whitefield’s theology in embracing the five points of Calvinism but also how it did not undermine Whitefield’s evangelism but fueled it. I appreciated that thrust of this chapter since people often complain today that Calvinism hinder evangelism. Chapter four is on Whitefield’s Gospel ministry in which the subsection of the chapter looked at Whitefields’ continually exposing sin, exalting the cross, requiring regeneration, summoning the will and pointing to eternity. Chapter five is titled “A Passion that Consumed.” What was memorable for me with chapter five is the love of God and the love of the lost that drove Whitefield’s preaching. In this chapter I also learned that Whitefield was one of the early preachers to slaves in the American colonies and he did during a time when it very sensitive to do so, following the wake of several slave rebellion. What an encouragement it is to see Whitefield’s example of taking the Gospel to all and doing so in a way that went against the grain of society. Chapter six is on the Spirit’s work in Whitefield’s ministry and life. In summary this is a recommended spiritual biography.

  4. 5 out of 5

    James Hogan

    A phenomenal little book. And it really is little. A remarkably quick read, but for all that, totally worthwhile. I remember first buying this back in...2014 I think? At the Ligonier conference I went to with Dad, we sat in one of the sessions where Dr. Lawson actually preached a sermon on Whitefield (based off this book), and my heart was so filled with fire that I couldn't help but purchase this book later on during the conference. I haven't read this book in probably about five years, but rea A phenomenal little book. And it really is little. A remarkably quick read, but for all that, totally worthwhile. I remember first buying this back in...2014 I think? At the Ligonier conference I went to with Dad, we sat in one of the sessions where Dr. Lawson actually preached a sermon on Whitefield (based off this book), and my heart was so filled with fire that I couldn't help but purchase this book later on during the conference. I haven't read this book in probably about five years, but reading it now was just as stimulating to my soul. This book is really just a primer on Whitefield. It's not a comprehensive biography or anything, but it's meant to whet your appetite to know more about Whitefield...but really, this book is intended to fill one's heart with a passion for the gospel of God and seeing it preached throughout the earth. And in that, it succeeded mightily, at least with me. I definitely now want to proceed (maybe in a few weeks) to read Dallimore's Whitefield (one of my all-time fav bios), but beyond that...my heart is just full of grief and sadness that we don't have preaching like Whitefield's currently filling the earth. Whitefield was one who cared naught what men thought, but simply cared to call all people to Christ - indeed, all "must be born again!" Would that I had that fire in my life, to preach Christ and Him crucified to every single person I come into contact with. Reading this book, you come away with an awe-struck impression that surely God was with Whitefield, surely God's Spirit was poured out mightily upon this humble, feeble soul. Oh that I may be used by God such, even to a small fraction of a percentage of Whitefield's ministry, love, and passion. This book thrilled my soul and humbled my heart. God is at work to this very day. Oh how I love to read chronicles of the works of the Lord in this earth. And yes, even to this day, Christ too is working. Amen and Amen, soli deo gloria.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Yibbie

    It’s short but repetitive. The author repeats claims about the greatness, holiness, devotion, and tirelessness of Whitefield over and over. But I wanted more than claims about him. I wanted to know Whitefield. I didn’t want to know what other historians thought about him and his ministry. I wanted to know Whitefield, or at least where he had gone and what he had done, maybe even what he preached. There were snippets about him, but they are scattered and disjointed. There is no chronology to the It’s short but repetitive. The author repeats claims about the greatness, holiness, devotion, and tirelessness of Whitefield over and over. But I wanted more than claims about him. I wanted to know Whitefield. I didn’t want to know what other historians thought about him and his ministry. I wanted to know Whitefield, or at least where he had gone and what he had done, maybe even what he preached. There were snippets about him, but they are scattered and disjointed. There is no chronology to the vast majority of the events recounted. Without a deeper understanding of just what his ministry was, the claims that he was ‘the greatest evangelist since Paul’ just left a bad taste in my mouth. Actually, I think that claim made about any Christian would have left a bad taste in my mouth. Do we really judge a Christian’s greatness by the number of sermons or distance traveled? I don’t wish to denigrate Whitefield or his ministry. God certainly did bless and empower him greatly to change countless lives and several countries, but this book reads more like a eulogy than a biography. This book is also a defense of Calvinistic evangelistic zeal. As I am not a Calvinist, this book didn’t convince me.

  6. 5 out of 5

    RT

    This is a great short biography for the life and theology of Whitefield. Lawson is a decent writer, and provides a pithy quick read with ease. Lawson does well providing a thunderous style that matches how he presents Whitefield’s preaching. My main complaint is that Lawson is too repetitive in too many chapters reenforcing similar points. For a longer more detailed read this would serve as helpful to keep the reader reminded of key aspects, but however, in a book of such short length it feels l This is a great short biography for the life and theology of Whitefield. Lawson is a decent writer, and provides a pithy quick read with ease. Lawson does well providing a thunderous style that matches how he presents Whitefield’s preaching. My main complaint is that Lawson is too repetitive in too many chapters reenforcing similar points. For a longer more detailed read this would serve as helpful to keep the reader reminded of key aspects, but however, in a book of such short length it feels lazy. Overall, the book is good, and it provides a zealous appreciation for Whitefield himself.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mark Rosekelly

    I wanted to like this little book but there is barely any history in it and is mainly a calvinistic pep rally. The picture of Whitefield is one demensional with not one critical statement or identified flaw in the evangelist. It is a book written to inspire but does not represent any serious scholarship or history which makes me question the little bit of history that is there. If you are a Calvanist looking for reassurance that indeed Calvinists can be evangelist despite the Arminian argument o I wanted to like this little book but there is barely any history in it and is mainly a calvinistic pep rally. The picture of Whitefield is one demensional with not one critical statement or identified flaw in the evangelist. It is a book written to inspire but does not represent any serious scholarship or history which makes me question the little bit of history that is there. If you are a Calvanist looking for reassurance that indeed Calvinists can be evangelist despite the Arminian argument otherwise, then this will be a good read. If not, pass it by.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Aidan McGuire

    A great and encouraging work. I felt symptoms of revival in my own soul when i read the same works that quickened revival so many years ago. A good fast read with lots of spiritual insight

  9. 5 out of 5

    David Steele

    It is impossible to determine the impact that Reformation Trust’s, A Long Line of Godly Men Series will have. I have personally been enriched, challenged, and inspired by this excellent series that has surveyed the likes of Jonathan Edwards, John Calvin, Martin Luther, C.H. Spurgeon, and John Knox. The latest installment, The Evangelistic Zeal of George Whitefield by Steven Lawson packs a powerful punch and will leave readers hungry for more. Several features make Dr. Lawson’s latest work notewor It is impossible to determine the impact that Reformation Trust’s, A Long Line of Godly Men Series will have. I have personally been enriched, challenged, and inspired by this excellent series that has surveyed the likes of Jonathan Edwards, John Calvin, Martin Luther, C.H. Spurgeon, and John Knox. The latest installment, The Evangelistic Zeal of George Whitefield by Steven Lawson packs a powerful punch and will leave readers hungry for more. Several features make Dr. Lawson’s latest work noteworthy. First, the book is very interesting and readable. It is filled with historical facts that help readers contextualize the arena that Whitefield ministered in – on both sides of the Atlantic. Second, the book raises critical awareness about the biblical relationship between the doctrine of election and the need to evangelize. Lawson is quick to point out that while Whitefield embraced the doctrines of grace, he was also eager to proclaim the gospel to every creature – a scathing indictment of hyper-Calvinism and a challenge to anyone who scoffs at the two-fold truths of election and evangelism. Third, the book provides an inside look at a man who faced a myriad of trials and tribulations. Every preacher, indeed, every Christ-f0llower experiences trials. But I have yet to meet a pastor who was met by an angry mob who hurled dead cats and rotten fruit onto the platform. Whitefield endured this and more. Yet he endured each tribulation and he passed the test. Fourth, the book acquaints readers with the evangelistic zeal of George Whitefield. Here is a man who took the Great Commission seriously! His ministry led to countless conversions – all a result of faithful proclamation. Whitefield was a man who refused to compromise the truth. He delivered the truth with power and passion. And a multitude of lives of changed as a result of his preaching ministry. Lawson cites Arnold Dallimore who writes about the God-centered stature of George Whitefield: “And what manner of men will they be? Men mighty in the Scriptures, their lives dominated by a sense of the greatness, the majesty and holiness of God, and their minds and hearts aglow with the great truths of the doctrines of grace.” Oh, that men in this age would model the Whitefield approach. May their hearts be consumed with nothing but the greatness of God. And may people from every tribe and nation be drawn to the sovereign Savior. Highly recommended!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Crispin Lewis

    Like lightning from a cloudless sky, so did George Whitefield burst onto the scene of 18th century England and spread revival fires where he went. This was a very encouraging and brief introduction to the life and ministry for the "Grant Itinerant", George Whitefield. What a man who was used mightily used of God! Here is a man that God used to set ablaze the hearts of many myriads of people across two continents in what we know today as "The Great Awakening". As Dr Lawson points out in this book Like lightning from a cloudless sky, so did George Whitefield burst onto the scene of 18th century England and spread revival fires where he went. This was a very encouraging and brief introduction to the life and ministry for the "Grant Itinerant", George Whitefield. What a man who was used mightily used of God! Here is a man that God used to set ablaze the hearts of many myriads of people across two continents in what we know today as "The Great Awakening". As Dr Lawson points out in this book, what made Whitefield such a mighty tool in God's hand was mire than his skills of Oratory or even erudition, but his singular devotion to the Lord. This man lived before the face of God. He had an extraordinary love for God and people that drove him to tirelessly and earnestly call sinners to repentance. Surely, the world has yet to see the equal of George Whitefield in terms of zeal for evangelism and perpetual success in winning souls. This book is very short read and can be done in no time. It is absolutely worth the read as one is introduced to one of the giants of Church history. May God raise up more Whitefields in our day!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Pritt

    This was a really good read. This man led an amazing life devoted to God and for His glory. He had fiery zeal and deep convictions of God's word that brought about great spiritual awakening in different countries. Here is an excerpt from the book. "In his thirty-four years of ministry, Whitefield preached some eighteen thousand sermons, often to multiplied thousands. If informal messages are included, such as in private homes, this number easily increases to thirty thousand sermons, perhaps more. This was a really good read. This man led an amazing life devoted to God and for His glory. He had fiery zeal and deep convictions of God's word that brought about great spiritual awakening in different countries. Here is an excerpt from the book. "In his thirty-four years of ministry, Whitefield preached some eighteen thousand sermons, often to multiplied thousands. If informal messages are included, such as in private homes, this number easily increases to thirty thousand sermons, perhaps more. Three sermons a day were common; four were not uncommon. Conservative estimates are that he spoke a thousand times every year for more than thirty years. In America alone, it is estimated that eighty percent of the colonists heard him preach. This means Whitefield was seen by far more American settlers than was George Washington. Whitefield's name was more widely recognized by colonial Americans than any living person's except for those of British royalty. It is believed that Whitefield preached to more than ten million people over the course of his ministry, a staggering number."

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lincoln Forlong

    As we've come to expect of Steven Lawson, this is another exceptional profile of an exemplary preacher of Jesus Christ, George Whitefield. Lawson presents plentiful quotes and written exerts from Whitefield, along with considerable quotes from his contemporaries. A broad life history is layed before the reader with sufficient highlights pointing out the main character qualities which Whitefield possessed. This read is well balanced in that it presents Whitefield's highs and lows, his victorys and As we've come to expect of Steven Lawson, this is another exceptional profile of an exemplary preacher of Jesus Christ, George Whitefield. Lawson presents plentiful quotes and written exerts from Whitefield, along with considerable quotes from his contemporaries. A broad life history is layed before the reader with sufficient highlights pointing out the main character qualities which Whitefield possessed. This read is well balanced in that it presents Whitefield's highs and lows, his victorys and defeats. But most of all, it unequivocally displays the life tranaforming power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is a short yet great read. It's informative, encouraging and challenging when read with a reflective attitude. For everyone involved in any sort of preaching or teaching ministry, this is a must read. The example and leasons from Whitefield's life are plentiful, practical and God honouring. I highly recommend this book!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Adam T.

    This was my first real encounter with Whitefield and man was it both immensely encouraging and staggeringly challenging. Whitefield stands as one of the grandest evangelist of all time. While he was certainly well equipped as a skilled thinker and communicator, it was his communion with Jesus Christ that ignited an unstoppable ministry. Lawson writes this book with a pastors heart as he seeks to point to Whitefield as a means to push the reader toward further love for/faithfulness to Christ. As This was my first real encounter with Whitefield and man was it both immensely encouraging and staggeringly challenging. Whitefield stands as one of the grandest evangelist of all time. While he was certainly well equipped as a skilled thinker and communicator, it was his communion with Jesus Christ that ignited an unstoppable ministry. Lawson writes this book with a pastors heart as he seeks to point to Whitefield as a means to push the reader toward further love for/faithfulness to Christ. As a pastor, I was greatly challenged reading Whitefield's passionate pleas to believe in Christ. This will certainly not be my last interaction Whitefield and I highly encouraging anyone look to start studying this man who was blessed by God, the book is a fantastic place to begin.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Terry

    Inspired Evangelist's Life Written to Inspire and Educate Never even heard of George Whitfield. He appears to be an overlooked influence. Yet he apparently had a huge impact in Great Britain and the colonies as well. Really helped kick off what was called "The Great Awakening" which had a profound impact here in the Americas during the colonial period strongly spreading true Christianity based on biblical truth. As the author concludes, we need more like George Whitfield today and I would add very Inspired Evangelist's Life Written to Inspire and Educate Never even heard of George Whitfield. He appears to be an overlooked influence. Yet he apparently had a huge impact in Great Britain and the colonies as well. Really helped kick off what was called "The Great Awakening" which had a profound impact here in the Americas during the colonial period strongly spreading true Christianity based on biblical truth. As the author concludes, we need more like George Whitfield today and I would add very desperately as well. Educational and inspiring. Well worth the read for a bible based Christian and not to be missed.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ricky Garcia

    I thought Steven Lawson did well in highlighting the good godly qualities of George Whitefield's character but the book lacked details of his personal struggles. Including more details of his personal struggles and how he handled them would have made Whitefield more relatable to the average reader and the book that much better. All in all, it was a good book and was very motivating for sharing the good news of the gospel of Christ. I thought Steven Lawson did well in highlighting the good godly qualities of George Whitefield's character but the book lacked details of his personal struggles. Including more details of his personal struggles and how he handled them would have made Whitefield more relatable to the average reader and the book that much better. All in all, it was a good book and was very motivating for sharing the good news of the gospel of Christ.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mathew Nix

    Like all the books in this Long Line of Godly Men series, the author did a good job giving an overview of Whitefield's life in standard biography style for about the first half. Then, the rest of the book is dedicated to the core doctrines and beliefs of the man. That's what I like about this series. It goes beyond just recounting a life story and adds theological application for us today from their life's legacy. Like all the books in this Long Line of Godly Men series, the author did a good job giving an overview of Whitefield's life in standard biography style for about the first half. Then, the rest of the book is dedicated to the core doctrines and beliefs of the man. That's what I like about this series. It goes beyond just recounting a life story and adds theological application for us today from their life's legacy.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Blake

    Not sure if any book has humbled my soul as much as this one. Whitefield was truly a man who knew the Lord, loved the Lord, and loved His Gospel. This love compelled him to preach the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ alone to lost, dying, blind beggars like no one else had since Christ and the apostle themselves.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nate Hoover

    Was a good introduction to Whitefield for me a few years ago. Definitely meant to be an intro. I think Lawson himself would want you to read Arnold Dalimore's biography (he has a condensed single volume edition and a really detailed two volume edition - both versions are really good) if you want more info on the Evangelist. Was a good introduction to Whitefield for me a few years ago. Definitely meant to be an intro. I think Lawson himself would want you to read Arnold Dalimore's biography (he has a condensed single volume edition and a really detailed two volume edition - both versions are really good) if you want more info on the Evangelist.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    I have really been enjoying this series. You get a nice little snapshot of several godly men. As I listen to them I feel myself being challenged in some aspect of my personal walk with God. With George Whitefield I feel challenged by his humility and his care that people come to a saving knowledge of God.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kelvin Lomberg

    I hadn't heard much about this great man of faith until I read this book, but the facts about Whitefield portrayed here are awe inspiring stories of a man deeply devoted to the gospel and to widespread preaching of this message. Steve Lawson sums up his life in a short, readable way that stirs heart and mind. I hadn't heard much about this great man of faith until I read this book, but the facts about Whitefield portrayed here are awe inspiring stories of a man deeply devoted to the gospel and to widespread preaching of this message. Steve Lawson sums up his life in a short, readable way that stirs heart and mind.

  21. 4 out of 5

    David Westerveld

    I think the author likes adjectives. They were a bit much sometimes. I understand this is about important material and that Whitefield himself was an intense person, but sometimes it did feel like I was gasping for air while reading this. There is an intensity to this book that wasn't my favorite stylisticly, but I still got some encouragement out of it. I think the author likes adjectives. They were a bit much sometimes. I understand this is about important material and that Whitefield himself was an intense person, but sometimes it did feel like I was gasping for air while reading this. There is an intensity to this book that wasn't my favorite stylisticly, but I still got some encouragement out of it.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Josh Stowers

    You have to read about this Grand Itinerant. It will greatly impact your life and propel you into evangelism. Charles Spurgeon notes he felt quicken by the Spirit when he read George Whitefield and I can say the same. This man truly lived and did not merely exist.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tim Genry

    I’m giving George Whitefield five stars ... But the book? Three stars. It just seemed disjointed. George Whitefield is quite the mentor for those of us who long to tell the incredible story of God “His story”!

  24. 4 out of 5

    John C Homoney

    A Great Read about a Great Man I love the way Dr. Lawson brought to life the life and seal of George Whitefield - I couldn't put the book down! I recommend any and all of Dr. Dawson's works. A Great Read about a Great Man I love the way Dr. Lawson brought to life the life and seal of George Whitefield - I couldn't put the book down! I recommend any and all of Dr. Dawson's works.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Nate Youtzy

    Lawson does well in summarizing the life of Whitefield (condensed) without detracting from key events and considerations in Whitefield's life. If you are looking for a biography to read, but do not want to get bogged down by hundreds of pages, this is the book for you. Lawson does well in summarizing the life of Whitefield (condensed) without detracting from key events and considerations in Whitefield's life. If you are looking for a biography to read, but do not want to get bogged down by hundreds of pages, this is the book for you.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Samuel

    This is a fantastic short survey of George Whitefield’s life and ministry. It hits all the high points and major themes of Whitefield, inspiring you to want to learn more about him and to emulate his zeal for the Lord. I will echo Lawson’s (and John Wesley’s) cry: “We want again Whitefields!”

  27. 4 out of 5

    Christy Mabs

    Absolutely loved this book!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Evan Staffieri

    Great biography and commendation of this evangelistic zealot, George Whitefield!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jesus Archuleta

    I highly recommend this book! I was in awe with what God did using George to accomplish his will. His ministry was truly amazing and S. Lawson does a great job brining it to light!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kenneth Rosenblad

    WOW

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