While many results of these movements (“great” awakenings) were positive, their overall effect was negative to Christianity in America. For example, the movements emphasized immediate personal conversion to Christ instead of a studied period of reflection and conviction before conversion. Emotionally charged, simple messages—rather than intellectually careful and doctrinally precise sermons—became the norm. Personal feelings, along with an emphasis on a right relationship with Christ, became the most important feature of conversion. This was in place of a deep grasp of the nature of Christian teaching and ideas.
— J. P. Moreland and Mark Matlock, from Smart Faith, p. 20