Thoughts with Whitefield

In 1740, George Whitefield, a man greatly used of God in launching the first great awakening, and a man to whom I love to read, wrote to John Wesley, a close friend, “I never read anything that Calvin wrote.”[1] He was also quoted as saying, “I embrace the Calvinistic scheme, not because of Calvin, but Jesus Christ has taught it to me.”[2] Through the life of George Whitefield, no doubt the grace of God was taught with diligence and eloquence, never diminishing Christ, but it was more of a reality of who he was.

And with these things about Whitefield it is that I do agree: 1.) I too have yet to read anything Calvin wrote, not more than a random quote. 2.) Anything I have learned about grace has been what Christ has done in rescuing my soul and taught me through many hours of study in his word. Although I am yet still such a youth in the subject. Yet I am not a Calvinist, nor am I Arminian, simply a Christian saved by God’s grace. 3.) Grace must be a reality and not a mere thing to be minimized, legalized and scrutinized.

[1] Dallimore, Whitefield, I, p. 574.

[2] Packer, “The Spirit with the Word,” p. 47.