These are the stories of five key ministers of the 18th and 19th centuries who changed the whole spirit of the Church of England - and whose influence is still seen today. People today are frantically searching for security and are increasingly not finding it in a material philosophy where other people dictate to us.
A church that hopes to transform this society needs to look to those who were enabled to perform the same task in a similar era. Each one of these men was associated with Oxford whilst proving their mettle as spiritual leaders. Each one kept alive and added to the passionate flame of a remarkable line of influential church leaders.
No lesser authority than J.C. Ryle placed George Whitefield (1714-1770) as the foremost Christian leader of the 18th century. He, in turn, passed the torch to John Newton (1725-1807). Newton was as a spiritual father to Thomas Scott (1747-1821) and Richard Cecil (1748-1810) and they in turn were the spiritual guides to Daniel Wilson (1778-1858). Wilson launched a missionary emphasis still seen today in Oxford churches. What this book helps us understand is that the situation that prevailed when these men influenced their society is similar to that of today. If we want to change the world then their stories could inspire us to do just that.