Book Review: Forgotten Founding Father – The Heroic Legacy of George Whitefield
I don’t read much fiction these days mostly because non-fiction, especially historical biographies, are far more interesting. I recently came across Forgotten Founding Father – The Heroic Legacy of George Whitefield (Cumberland House) which was written by one of my favorite authors, Stephen Mansfield. I knew very little about George Whitefield before I read the book and was certainly glad by the end that I had taken the time to get to know this remarkable individual from the early days of American history.
Published as part of the Leaders in Action series, the book is designed not simply to be a biography recalling the important events of the subject’s life but also as a study of that person’s character. In this case, the biographical sketch of Whitefield seemed a little rushed in order to get to the character study which takes up the remaining two-thirds of the book.
However, it is the second part of the book that is the stongest portion of the text. Mr. Mansfield takes the key events of Mr. Whitefield’s life and explores how he exhibited (or, in some cases, failed to exhibit) key character traits that we should look to emulate. In fact, I believe Mr. Mansfield has done a great service by approaching his subject in this fashion as it is a person’s character that is far more interesting that what necessarily happened to them.
Although it’s not a comprehensive biography of George Whitefield (nor is it meant to be), this book serves as a great introduction to one of the forgotten heroes of the Christian faith. His influence was profound on our Founding Fathers. His ministry began the Great Awakening in the United States and no doubt had a profound influence on many other evangelists that would follow in his footsteps. I recommend checking out this book as well as many of the other selections in this series.
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