Revival: The First Great Awakening (part 2)

Chelsea and I continue our series about the Christian revivals in American history.

Solomon Stoddard, a fiery preacher saw several revivals in his 60 years pastoring the church at Northampton, Massachusetts, but he embraced and expanded the Half-Way Covenant. Stoddard allowed open membership and open communion. The Northampton church grew to over 600 members, but over time the majority were likely unbelievers.

Stoddard’s grandson Jonathan Edwards would become the new pastor of the church. He would follow in the footsteps of revivalist preaching, with his famous sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” Edwards would also see that the Half-Way Covenant and Stoddard’s church polity was enshrining the “dead religion” they were intended to solve.

Scriptures Referenced:

Revelation 3:16

1 Corinthians 11:30

Sources Consulted:

Spiritual Awakenings in North America: Christian History Timeline,” Christianity Today, Accessed February 26, 2023.

Schafer, T. A.. “Jonathan Edwards.” Encyclopedia Britannica, February 18, 2023.

Jack Zavada, “Jonathan Edwards, Reformed Church Pioneer: Famous Revivalist Preacher of the Great Awakening,” Learn Religions, August 9, 2019.

Martin Kelly, “Jonathan Edwards: Colonial Clergyman of the Great Awakening,” ThoughtCo, July 3, 2019.

Jonathan Edwards, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.”

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