Read Burk Parson’s Tabletalk Magazine article, “A Sower Went Out To Sow . . . ” in which you will be introduced to George Whitefield, the great Calvinistic Methodist evangelist who, along with Jonathan Edwards (of “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” fame–aka, “the theologian of revival“), and John Wesley, for whom “the world [was his] parish,” with his earnest and sometimes blunt preaching, was the agent of God in the First Great Awakening.
As I read Parson’s article, it occured to me that I’ve heard evangelicals praying for and even “claiming” revival all of my life, with little to show for it, but a few enthusiastic excesses on the fringe of the charismatic movement. Considering the cultural climate in which we now live, perhaps God is bringing the American people to a greater place of hunger and thirst after righteousness. Pray for revival as we are all providentially confronted with some harsh economic and cultural realities. But, lest another explosion of error results, pray for reformation along with revival. Revival without reformation will bring spiritual life, but can also spread doctrinal error; reformation without revival will improve the church’s theological integrity whether or not spiritual integrity accompanies it. Reformation and revival is what America desparately needs.