Charles Finney’s Theology of Revival: Moral Depravity

Sean Michael Lucas | August 25, 2009

Charles G. Finney is famous for his career in revival ministries, but he patterned his theology to fit his revivalistic practices. His unique view of original sin included a distinction between physical and moral depravity, the universal nature of moral depravity, and a rejection of the doctrine of imputation. Three possible reasons for his alteration of the theology in which he received training include the influences of Jacksonian democracy, an inclination toward favoring his legal training, and pragmatism. Finney has had a lasting influence on the church, including those who tend toward pragmatic methodology in ministry. Today’s church must beware of such pragmatism and of being dragged into Finney’s Pelagianistic theology.

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