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An Uncommon Christian

James Brainerd Taylor, Forgotten Evangelist in America's Second Great Awakening

Francis I. Kyle III - Foreword by John F. Thornbury

An Uncommon Christian seeks to show how and why James Brainerd Taylor (1801–1829) became a popular participant during America's Second Great Awakening, and why the Princeton graduate and Yale Seminary student grew to be a frequent example of evangelical Protestant spirituality and evangelistic passion long after his untimely death. Those interested in religious revivals, evangelism and missions, spirituality, early nineteenth-century American history, the integration of faith and action with university or seminary studies, or inspirational Christian biography will benefit from this exhaustive and long overdue book on a forgotten "hero" of the Protestant faith. « less more »
University Press of America
Pages: 255Size: 6 1/8 x 9
978-0-7618-3862-3 • Paperback • December 2007 • $46.99 • (£31.95)
I. Francis Kyle III is a youth and college campus minister in Port Angeles, Washington, and a Doctor of Ministry student at Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon. A graduate of Canada's Prairie Bible College and Toronto Baptist Seminary (M. Div., Th.M.), Kyle is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society, Evangelical Missiological Society, American Society of Church History, National Association of Evangelicals, and Mission America Coalition: Uniting Christians For Evangelism and Revival. His edited anthology, Of Intense Brightness: The Spirituality of Uncommon Christian James Brainerd Taylor, is forthcoming from University Press of America.
Part 1 Foreword
Part 2 Preface
Chapter 3 Introduction
Chapter 4 Two Memoirs
Chapter 5 Historical Context: Cultural, Philosophical, Theological
Chapter 6 Connecticut and New York City, 1801–1819
Chapter 7 Academy at Lawrenceville, 1820–1823
Chapter 8 Princeton University, 1823–1826
Chapter 9 Theological Seminary at Yale, 1827–1828
Chapter 10 Activity in Revivals
Chapter 11 Trips to the South and Death, March 1828–March 29, 1829
Chapter 12 Spirituality of an Uncommon Christian
Part 13 Appendix A: Chronology of the Life of James Brainerd Taylor
Part 14 Appendix B: David Brainerd and James Brainerd Taylor: A Comparative Chart
Part 15 Bibliography
Part 16 Index
Francis Kyle has told the story of Taylor's remarkable, short life in an accessible manner. He has also probed very helpfully the way in which Taylor's spiritual experience made a crucial contribution to his ministry.
Ian M. Randall, Lecturer in Church History and Spirituality, Spurgeon's College, London, England

An encouragement that God gives light to every generation and sometimes in the form of radiant believers like J.B. Taylor, a firebrand whom Francis Kyle presents to us in these pages.
Kelly Monroe Kulberg, Editor, Finding God at Harvard and Author, Finding God Beyond Harvard

A classic example of high quality Christian biography, both accurately based on the past, and illuminating for the present. To quote Taylor, 'We need more uncommon Christians; that is, eminently holy, self-denying, cross-bearing, Bible, everyday Christians.'
Peter Adam, Principal and Lecturer in Theology and Preaching, Ridley College, and Canon, St. Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne, Australia

Anyone with an interest in nineteenth-century evangelicals and their legacies to us should read this carefully crafted book. James Brainerd Taylor was a tremendously influential Christian hero in his day, but has been virtually forgotten since the late nineteenth century. As Francis Kyle makes clear, our amnesia regarding Taylor and the world in which he lived has impoverished our understanding of nineteenth-century religious history, as well as the practice of evangelical Christanity today.
Douglas A. Sweeney, chair,Department of Church History and Christian Thought, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

An Uncommon Christian rescues from the ranks of half-scanned footnotes and the rarely-perused pages of academic bibliographies a genuine 'Christian hero' who inspired so many of his nineteenth-century American contemporaries. Any attempt to gain an understanding of the depth of 'lived evangelicalism' in the early-to-mid nineteenth century will be enriched by this recovering of Taylor's role as an inspirational beacon of piety and fervor.
Larry Eskridge, Associate Director, Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals, Wheaton College

Scholarly writing that speaks to both the mind and the heart. It is a significant addition to the literature on early American revivalism.
Robert E. Coleman, Distinguished Professor of Evangelism and Discipleship, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

Some of the brightest lights in the church have been obscured by the forgetfulness of succeeding generations. Those interested in the history of revival will now rejoice over Francis Kyle's recovery of one of the great evangelists of the Second Great Awakening.
Joel R. Beeke, President, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary

Most of us who look at the stars in Christian history occasionally find a new one in the galaxy. With me, this has been the case with J.B. Taylor. With meticulous scholarship, Francis Kyle makes James Brainerd Taylor come alive and hopefully take his well-deserved place among evangelists of the early nineteenth century.
Roy J. Fish, Distinguished Professor of Evangelism, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

ATS first published a memoir on Taylor's life in 1833. ATS is now pleased to endorse the reading of Francis Kyle's 'memoir' to Christians in the 21st century.
Daniel Southern, President, American Tract Society

Francis Kyle carefully sets forth the life and influence of James Brainerd Taylor and along the way provides the reader with interesting and competent descriptions of contemporary institutions, churches, and theological and intellectual movements.
David B. Calhoun, Professor of Church History, Covenant Theological Seminary

History and biography make the best devotional reading! Francis Kyle has written a moving and powerful account of Taylor's short but influential life. I recommend it highly to all who long for the next revival.
David Epstein, Senior Pastor, Calvary Baptist Church, New York City

Having worked in university ministry for over two decades I have persistently sought to inspire Christian students with examples of how consecration and calling might find expression during the college years. In this, I have often instanced J.B. Taylor but lamented the limited availability of accounts of his life. May the circulation of Kyle's study kindle afresh not only an interest in Taylor but that 'uncommon' faith and fervency which is so honoring to Christ and so needed in our day.
Jon Hinkson, Co-Founder, Rivendell Institute for Christian Thought and Learning at Yale University

An Uncommon Christian is an important contribution to our knowledge of an important but overlooked early nineteenth-century evangelist. Kyle writes this biography in a way that will edify and encourage anyone who seeks to spread the Gospel.
Lyle W. Dorsett, Billy Graham Professor of Evangelism, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University

The story of James Brainerd Taylor is a challenging and encouraging example from the past of a young man who sought to live an uncommon life for the cause of Christ. May the Lord raise up many more like him from this generation of university students.
William C. Boyce Jr., Affiliated Chaplain and Director, Princeton Evangelical Fellowship

A life cut short, but still one that burned bright with evangelistic zeal! May this work stimulate us to an uncommon, or excellent, Christianity, which is self-denying and centered on God.
Josh Moody, Senior Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church, New Haven (Conn.) and Author, The God-Centered Life

Francis Schaeffer used to say 'there are no little people' in God's family. Francis Kyle's excellent, indeed impressive, study of James Brainerd Taylor is a timely reminder of this abiding truth. We are indebted to Mr. Kyle for reintroducing us to this almost forgotten saint from America's 'Second Awakening.'
John Newby, Vice Principal (Retired), George Whitefield College, Cape Town, South Africa

I. Francis Kyle III presents a needed, timely, and scholarly new view of the life and spirituality of James Brainerd Taylor.
Timothy L. Robnett, Director, Next Generation Alliance, Luis Palau Evangelistic Association

Kyle's detailed descriptions of Taylor's piety and humility as well as the impact this young man had in America created in me a fresh yearning for the presence of God. I highly recommend this work to anyone who wants to be inspired by a godly example or who desires to understand the spiritual history of America.
Matt Bennett, Founder and President, "The Christian Union: Advancing the Kingdom of Jesus Christ in the Ivy League"

David Livingstone, noted Scottish missionary to Africa, was inspired by Taylor's life—you will be inspired and challenged by Francis Kyle's well researched and finely written account of Taylor's life and ministry.
Timothy K. Beougher, Billy Graham Professor of Evangelism, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

This is a fascinating portrait of a man who was indeed 'an uncommon Christian.' It will provide engrossing reading for all students of nineteenth-century America, historic Calvinism, missiology, and above all, Christian discipleship.
Donald Macleod, Principal, Free Church of Scotland College, Edinburgh, Scotland

Francis Kyle has done us all a great favor by recovering the life of Taylor from relative obscurity. You're going to be challenged, uplifted, and encouraged by this wonderful study of the brief but enduring ministry of a truly uncommon Christian.
Phil Johnson, Founder and Curator of the online "The Hall of Church History"

The name of James Brainerd Taylor deserves to be much better known, especially amongst college and seminary students. Oh, that God would raise up many more James Brainerd Taylors!
Adrian Lane, Norm Allchin Lecturer in Evangelism, Ridley College, Melbourne, Australia

- Includes 38 halftones.