It is impossible to determine the impact that Reformation Trust’s, A Long Line of Godly Men Series will have. 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.