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Of Intense Brightness
The Spirituality of Uncommon Christian James Brainerd Taylor
Francis I. Kyle III -
James M. Houston -
"Be uncommon Christians . . . that is, eminently holy, self-denying, cross-bearing, Bible, everyday Christians." So James Brainerd Taylor (1801–1829) encouraged others to be, and so he strived to be himself.
Of Intense Brightness
reveals aspects of Taylor's uncommon Christianity by allowing the Princeton and Yale-educated evangelist to speak for himself. By means of forty-five selected and edited letters and journal entries of Taylor's (written from ages fourteen to twenty-seven), readers will obtain a unique glimpse into the inner workings of an evangelical Protestant spirituality that was, according to nineteenth-century Princeton Seminary professor Samuel Miller, "so uniform, that we had only, as it were, one face, and that of intense brightness to behold."
University Press of America
Size: 6 x 9
978-0-7618-3970-5 • Paperback • June 2008 •
Religion / Christian Life / Inspirational
Religion / Christian Life / General
Religion / Christianity / History
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I. Francis Kyle III
is a youth and college campus minister in Port Angeles, Washington. A graduate of Canada's Prairie Bible College and Toronto Baptist Seminary (M.Div., Th.M.) and a member of the Evangelical Theological Society, he is a Doctor of Ministry student at Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon. Kyle is the author of
An Uncommon Christian: James Brainerd Taylor, Forgotten Evangelist in America's Second Great Awakening
(University Press of America, 2007).
Part 1 Foreword by James M. Houston
Part 2 Preface
Chapter 3 "Of Intense Brightness": The Life and Spirituality of Uncommon Christian James Brainerd Taylor
Chapter 4 Chronology of the Life and Ministry of James Brainerd Taylor
Chapter 5 Selections from James Brainerd Taylor's Letters and Journal Entries
Part 6 Epilogue by Peter Adam: A Special Word to University and Seminary Students
Part 7 Select Bibliography: James Brainerd Taylor
Part 8 Recommended Reading: Evangelical Protestant Spirituality
Part 9 Index
The activism of the 'up and doing' Taylor was fueled by the sweet 'communion with heaven' that characterized his spirituality. Francis Kyle's work in making the brief and inner life of someone who sadly is unknown today has much value.
Derek Tidball, Principal, London School of Theology, U.K.
Many thanks to Francis Kyle for this most edifying anthology. It is sad but true: James Brainerd Taylor was an 'uncommon Christian.' My hope and prayer is that these selections from his grace-filled spiritual writings will be used by God to change this situation.
Douglas A. Sweeney, chair,Department of Church History and Christian Thought, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
James Brainerd Taylor inspires and encourages me as I sit in the same Nassau Hall where he lived, studied, and wrote. In
Of Intense Brightness
, Francis Kyle illuminates Taylor, a truly uncommon Christian and one to whom I and my fellow Princetonians are indebted for helping to establish an historical stronghold for Christ.
Jonathan M. Keller, Student (Class of 2009), Princeton University, and President (2007), Princeton Evangelical Fellowship
So-called postmodernity could do well to retrace the steps of the little known James Brainerd Taylor. I congratulate Francis Kyle for putting the spotlight on a worthy luminary.
Tony Sargent, principal, International Christian College, Glasgow, Scotland
Kyle has done the church a great favor by resurrecting the dynamic faith of an earnest young man whose devotion can still breathe life into a sometimes complacent church.
Gary L. Thomas, Author and Founding Director, Center for Evangelical Spirituality
James Brainerd Taylor was what the Puritans of old would have called a 'hot-gospel Christian.' His life was marked by a zeal for holiness and a desire to serve the cause of Christ in every area of his life. This collection of his writings explores both his evangelical activism and his intense Protestant piety. In doing so, it gives us access to the spirituality of an important shaper of American Christianity.
Timothy George, Founding Dean, Beeson Divinity School of Samford University, and Senior Editor,
I am inspired and challenged by J.B. Taylor's love for scripture, holiness, evangelism, and cross-cultural ministry. May God raise up more James Brainerd Taylors among this generation of students.
Terry Erickson, National Director of Evangelism, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship
James Brainerd Taylor's life, like his distant relative David Brainerd, reveals a man who packed into a few short years a full lifetime of holiness. The result of Kyle's research and study is an inspiring book, one that takes us to the heart of what it means to give one's all for Christ, his glory and his Church.
Michael A.G. Haykin, Professor of Biblical Spirituality and Church History, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
The life of this extraordinary young man has been rescued from the dim shadows of the past to be currently spotlighted in an hour when 'uncommon Christians' have become an endangered species. Through Francis Kyle's efforts, may Taylor's literary reappearance challenge our entire contemporary generation to make the Lord Jesus Christ their all in all.
Richard L. Mayhue, Executive Vice President, The Master's College and Seminary
This work is not only insightful and inspiring, it is impacting! I hope that every student and campus ministry leader will read this volume carefully and seek God wholeheartedly until he or she enters into a new level of love for God and passionate kingdom service.
Dave Warn, Founder and Director, Collegiate Impact, and Co-Founder, Institute of Campus Revival and Awakening
Of Intense Brightness
is a book that will touch both the heart and mind of every reader. I pray that our Lord will use it in my life and yours to be more committed to be used of God in every way He desires for revival and spiritual awakening in our day.
Paul A. Cedar, Chairman, Mission America Coalition: Uniting Christians for Evangelism and Revival
As a student myself near where Taylor lived and ministered in New York City, Taylor's writings provide a great challenge and a dose of encouragement to my own spiritual life. To read about such an intensely spiritual and eternally conscious man and his passion for the gospel affords us all the opportunity to consider what God can do in and through those who truly make their lives 'living sacrifices.'
James S. Berneking, Student (Class of 2009), The King's College (Campus Crusade for Christ affiliate)
What shines in Taylor's writings is a faith simultaneously brimming with the vitality of the New Republic and deeply rooted in the piety of Puritanism and Jonathan Edwards. Dying of tuberculosis in 1829 and before his twenty-eighth birthday, Taylor's writings bring to life an old exemplar who is—strikingly—forever young.
Charles E. Hambrick-Stowe, Professor of Christian History, Northern Seminary
The remarkable account of Taylor's daily efforts at evangelism as well as his inner thoughts towards that end clearly reveal why his short life exerted such a profound influence on fellow evangelicals for many decades following his early death. It is a pleasure to see one of the earliest graduates of Lawrenceville remembered once again in the Christian community for his uniquely devout character.
Jacqueline Haun, Archivist, The Lawrenceville School, N.J.
As the Palau ministry pursues a path of 'innovative evangelism,' it is inspiring—and humbling—to read the words of a young James Brainerd Taylor. Innovation was a vital part of Taylor's ministry, and his 'uncommon Christianity' crosses two hundred years of history with relevance and clarity. Evangelicals can definitely learn and benefit from this comprehensive work.
Kevin Palau, Executive Vice President, Luis Palau Evangelistic Assocation
James Brainerd Taylor and his ten siblings were baptized and nurtured in the knowledge and love of the Lord at Christ Church. As his minister then, so with me now here—one never knows when we baptize who will be called to such a life 'of intense brightness.'
Rev. Mark E. Given, Rector, Christ Episcopal Church, Middle Haddam, Connecticut
Francis Kyle's in-depth research on J.B. Taylor will help current ministry leaders know better how to advance the cause of Christ into the future and increase our vision of what it means to be a follower of Jesus.
Jeremy Story, Founder and President, Campus Renewal Ministries, and Co-Founder, Campus Transformation Network
- Includes 41 halftones.
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