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.
I think there are two movements occurring simultaneously:
1) The increased secularization of society and the mainstream church as they run further from God than ever before.
2) The magnificent resurgence of fervor for doctrine, theology, the things of God, His Word, and a new embracing of the great theologians of our past.
The second one is a revival. Like you hinted at, it’s not being marked by nebulous over-spiritualized phenomenons. . . instead, it is being marked by a renewed enthusiastic love for the entirety of God’s truth.
See things like the Gospel Coalitions, Together for the Gospel, and the abundance of solid teachers available in our current time that are helping to reshape the church from within. For the first time in decades (or over a century), their voice is being heard by a large contingent within the church – especially by the younger generations.
What an exciting time. 🙂
You got it in a nutshell (or is that -butter?)!
When I read the article I got a sense of the Reality of Heaven and Hell.
King David, it is recorded did this after being brought face to face with the Prophet of God:::>
2Sa 7:18 Then King David went in and sat before the LORD and said, “Who am I, O Lord GOD, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?
Here’s what Paul told King Agrippa once he too had an encounter with Jesus:::>
Act 26:13 At midday, O king, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, that shone around me and those who journeyed with me.
Act 26:14 And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’
Act 26:15 And I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.
Act 26:16 But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you,
Act 26:17 delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles–to whom I am sending you
Act 26:18 to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’
Act 26:19 “Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision,
I would say that basic to the Faith, the six elements of a personal enlightenment, one must have had to have an encounter too face to face with the half human half devilish beast mindset to even yearn for the transformation and regeneration that awaits everyone touch by His Hand, His Grace, His Mercy and His Truth:
Heb 6:1 Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,
Heb 6:2 and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.
Heb 6:3 And this we will do if God permits.
And of course as a matter of course, this we will do, have an encounter face to face with God “if God permits”.
Let the Preachers Preach with fire and a demonstration of the Spirit and Power then!