Recovering the Disciplines: A Comparative Study on the Spiritual Disciplines as Expressed in the Lives, Teaching and Ministry of Jonathan Edwards, Charles Finney and Richard Foster.

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2018

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Abstract

This paper will examine the relationship between several prominent Evangelical leaders and the spiritual disciplines. By studying these figures, I hope to support two assertions. First, that the spiritual disciplines have always been an important part of the Evangelical tradition. Second, that the disciplines still have a role to play in the life and practice of the church today. In order to adequately defend these claims, I have chosen to focus on one Evangelical figure, from each of the last three centuries: Jonathan Edwards, Charles Finney and Richard Foster. Edwards’s leadership of the Great Awakenings established him as one of the principal Evangelical leaders of the eighteenth century. Finney was later responsible for some of the largest revivals in American history, and therefore stands as one of the most influential Evangelicals of the nineteenth century. With the publication of his classic book, Celebration of Discipline, Foster established himself as the foremost authority in the twentieth century on the modern expression of disciplines. By examining the private practice and public teaching of these three men, I hope to demonstrate that Evangelicals of every age not only adopted the disciplines, but also adapted them to their unique context. Consequently, I hope to inspire a new generation of Evangelicals to do the same.

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Doctor of Ministry

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Lengyel, Thomas Grant (2018). Recovering the Disciplines: A Comparative Study on the Spiritual Disciplines as Expressed in the Lives, Teaching and Ministry of Jonathan Edwards, Charles Finney and Richard Foster. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/20177.

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