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The Great Awakening: Spiritual Revival in Colonial America (DVD) Review by Rebecca Huff

BJU Press ShowForth DVDs
BJU Press Customer Service
Greenville, SC 29614-0062

The Great Awakening: Spiritual Revival in Colonial America, a 35-minute documentary about the past, is relevant for today. Although this film describes the spiritual transition of New England colonists in the early 1700s (known as the Great Awakening), it is also a great devotional tool that we need in present times. This documentary would be a wonderful resource for Sunday school lessons, Bible studies, school settings of all types, or a home study, and it is appropriate for all ages.

Composite backdrops make interesting scenes for photographed actors in period clothing. Interesting interviews of scholars bring detail to this 40-year time period during which many people were drawn to God.

By the time of the Great Awakening, Puritan customs had long been forgotten, having been replaced with wickedness and immorality. Eerily comparable to recent years, religious freedom during the 1700s had been set aside for material gain. Books such as Benjamin Franklin's The Way to Wealth, a bestseller in his day, encouraged hard work in order to acquire much gain. He used phrases such as, "Get what you can, and what you get hold." This quest for wealth resulted in spiritual death for the colonists.

Cold-heartedness toward God was prevalent in the 1670s, according to Samuel Danforth, a Puritan minister, preacher, poet, and astronomer. He and other preachers of the Awakening (such as Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield) brought a message which "awakened" the colonists to their need for salvation, bringing radical changes in their spiritual lives.

The Great Awakening was more than emotionalism; it brought about a renewed interest in intellectualism and prompted the founding of new universities and the distribution of books. Some historians say that the American Revolution would not have been possible had the Great Awakening not paved the way. Diversity in religion was due in part to the offshoots of different Protestant denominations during this time, such as the Methodists and Baptists.

The Study Guide and Devotional Guide included on the disc will help to drive home the significance of this incredible period of our nation's history. Spiritual revival is needed once again in America. It is time for this generation to experience an even greater awakening. May the Christians of this nation become aware of God's power and faithfulness, and may we boldly witness to the lost. Maybe then we will see revival like in the days of the Great Awakening.

Product review by Rebecca Huff, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, March 2009