Saturday, March 3, 2012

George Whitefield

So see if you know this one. You're sitting in class and the topic is on George Whitefield, an eighteenth century Anglican preacher. The teacher talks about how influential he was in spreading more of an Arminian type of Christianity in the United States than the Calvinist one that was already manifest, which allowed more room for personal choice. You are told about his impressive sermons that even the religious skeptic Benjamin Franklin thought were remarkable. You hear about how he is able to command an enormous crowd of thousands, all hanging on his lips in a time when there was no microphone around yet. He invented the gesture of heaving your arms into the air, he introduced the outdoor religious gatherings, he was, in short, a figure of note for Christianity in the United States. And then they hit you with this:

It's not even so much the fact that he's squint-eyed - in fact the teacher was quick to add "blessed are the squint for they get to behold God twofold." But it's just that after all that pep talk you just don't see this coming. It's very hard to keep a straight face. This is supposed to be a serious class right, with serious people, bright minds that are not distracted by frivolous detail but keep their eye on the intellectual ball... oh how hard it was to hold in my laughter! To you, dear reader, I confess.

Whitefield was a man of note though, so let's not keep it at his cross-eyedness and add some more artwork. With him raising his arms on high for example.

 Bring 'em to their knees, Georgie!

 Put your hands up! This guy invented it.

 At times Georgie could be a bit of a pouty face. Nice Princess Leia hairdue though!

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