A few weeks ago I read The Rise of Evangelicalism: The Age of Edwards, Whitefield, and the Wesleys by Mark A. Noll. I found this to be a very well written introduction to the beginnings and development of evangelicalism in Britain and America in the 18th century. Several times as I was reading the book I thought, “This would be a very good book for someone to read who wants to learn more about how John and Charles Wesley fit into the broader movement that they were a part of.” This was also one of the best written and enjoyable books I have read in awhile. This book is the first in a projected five volume series “A History of Evangelicalism: People, Movements and Ideas in the English Speaking World.” Volume 2, “The Expansion of Evangelicalism: The Age of More, Wilberforce, Chalmers, and Finney” by John R. Wolffe and Volume 3, “The Dominance of Evangelicalism: The Age of Spurgeon and Moody” by David W. Bebbington have both been published. Volume 4, “The Disruption of Evangelicalism: The Age of Mott, Machen and McPherson” by Geoff Treloar and volume 5, “The Global Diffusion of Evangelicalism: The Age of Graham and Stott” by Brian Stanley have not yet been published. Today I ordered volumes 2 and 3 simply on the strength of the first volume. For what it is worth, I would highly recommend “The Rise of Evangelicalism” to anyone generally interested in the history of evangelicalism, or who is interested in the relationship of John and Charles Wesley to other key eighteenth century evangelical leaders (most notably Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield).

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