Charles Grandison Finney, the renowned nineteenth Century evangelist was one of the major driving forces behind the 'second great awakening' in America.Formerly a lawyer, he was converted to bring about revival seeing man as the vital authority, striving to revolutionize and make the necessary changes in order to enter the modern era from the medieval times.He believed that it is man who has to make effort to bring about a change that does not come overnight and only by praying to god. Initiating his work in 1824 he not only preached in America but also went abroad and stayed there for many years to spread his teachings. Being the professor and president of Oberlin College only helped him a whole lot in his endeavors to form an evangelical theology.During his life as an evangelist Charles G. Finney had a knack for giving appalling statements regarding the church and its ways. His remarks were somewhat against the beliefs of most evangelicals such as the one about the millennium in which he held that if the church will perform all its duty diligently, the millennium may come in three years.Finney was a staunch patriot of the fact that the church had not fully performed its duty. Had it been so man would still have been living in the golden times in which Christianity flourished, the moral law of the god obeyed, revivals ended and there would have been no unrepentant sinners. Thus this world would have become free from sins and wrongdoings.
Charles Finney's approach to theology revolved around the maxim that god does not command that which the humans cannot obey.He firmly believed that god knows the power of its vicegerents and only tell them to do what they can perform. Furthermore he also believed that all men of rational mind have the ability to follow all the commands of god. This human ability, according to his teachings is the 'first truth' and was one of the reason why he criticized the church as he thought that if all humans have the power to obey god, why hasn't the church been able to remove all sins from the face of the earth. The reason he gave for the very fact was that the church had the moral powers but they need to be aroused.
Though he followed the principle that all humans are capable of fulfilling what god has asked, he did not deny human impiety and sinfulness. In this regard he held the view that sin is moral, not physical. It is the will due to which humans perform a sinful act and not the nature of mankind. Thus he vehemently denied the doctrine of Adamic guilt and corruption of nature. Finney's this belief only strengthened his principle regarding the capability of humans to fulfill god's command as he elaborated that if it is the will that compels one to choose right or wrong, it is very much in control of humans and can be forced to ...