Book Review: The Life of George Whitefield (Two Volumes)

Book by Arnold Dallimore

Review by Pastor John Kim

Dr. Steve Lawson presented the life of George Whitefield at the Shepherds Conference last year (2006) and I was just blown away by the life of this faithful vessel that God used to impact lives on both sides of the Atlantic in a way that just seems impossible to explain apart from the grace of God revealed through this man. I remember my brother and I running out of the seminar and picking up two of the last copies available at the conference bookstore. I started reading with an initial surge of excitement, only to get bogged down over the course of the year. After forgetting where I left off and having to restart the book at the beginning of the year, I finished both volumes in about two months. I’m sure some of you might remember a few quotes that I gave during sermons as I was duly impressed by the commitment and devotion of Whitefield to the Lord. He literally gave his body and soul to the point where he exhausted himself for the sake of the kingdom. His sermons were not just fanciful lectures but heartfelt pleas for sinners to repent and turn to Christ. He challenged the churches of his day to be stirred from their complacency and to be light and salt to all those around them, especially the destitute. He had a heart for orphans, starting an orphanage in Georgia which had a lasting impact in many lives. Whitefield was instrumental in the establishment of a number of universities which still are significantly established to this day, including Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, and Dartmouth. His range of ministry knew no bounds. He could speak to royalty one evening and then go to the poor colliers who were covered with coal dust and had nothing but pennies to give in their support. The account of his death moved me to tears as his body was racked with pain but soon gave way to his going to glory.

Biographies of those who have walked before us can inspire us and challenge us to look at our own lives and see if we are truly living our lives as holy sacrifices to God. I believe that too many of us think that those like George Whitefield were meant to be exceptions to the rule, almost fanatical in their faith. This is an unfortunate misconception. We need more Whitefields, especially men who would commit themselves to serve God wholeheartedly and unreservedly for the sake of His kingdom. I would recommend the reading of biographies of such men and women, especially this masterpiece by Dallimore ,which should stir your heart to pursue Christ with more fervency.

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The Beacon is the monthly newsletter for Lighthouse Bible Church in San Diego, California. It covers a variety of subjects including LBC events, church history, current events from a Christan perspective, ministry profiles, and messages from our pastors and elders. To join the Beacon ministry, please contact Stephen Rodgers.

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