The Bible and Christian experience in the revival movements of Charles G. Finney and Asahel Nettleton
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SubjectFinney, Charles Grandison,--1792-1875.
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This dissertation examines the reason for the different views of Charles G. Finney and Asahel Nettleton on the New Measures. Chapter 1 addresses the historical background of the research on their different views on the New Measures. Attention is given to the relative importance of the Bible and the role of religious experience for the Christian life. Chapter 2 explores the role of religious experience for Finney focusing on his conversion experience. After delineating the story of his conversion, this chapter analyzes its characteristics. Then, how he interpreted other's conversion experiences in his revival ministry is provided. Chapter 3 examines Finney's concept of the Bible. This chapter deals with his concepts of authority of the Bible and its inspiration. On the basis of these concepts, how he interpreted scriptural texts related to revival is analyzed. Chapter 4 begins with the description of Nettleton's conversion experience by classifying it several stages. In order to establish salient features of his conversion experience, this chapter analyzes these stages. Then, to confirm certainty of these characteristics, his interpretation of other people's conversion experiences is examined. Chapter 5 examines Nettleton's concept of the Bible. This chapter analyzes his doctrines of biblical authority and inspiration. Like Finney's case, this chapter explores Nettleton's interpretation of biblical texts related to revival. Chapter 6 summarizes the reasons for the different views of the two revivalists on the New Measures. It shows how each person's concept of religious experience influenced his thoughts on the meaning of the biblical text. This chapter also suggests some windows of opportunity for future study on the subject.