19 January 2008

Revivalism

Lately I've been studying and reading several books on revivals since the Reformation. A few things stand out:
1) Revival comes from the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, it cannot be generated by man.
2) Often with revival comes division from those who follow a previous or different theological path.
3) After a period of time, the revival fervor fades and often theological accuracy fades with it.
4) Most important, we need to trust Providence in all periods of history even when we no longer see the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit. God is always working even in history's darkest moments.

I can't recommend Iain Murray's Revival and Revivalism enough. Ever wonder about the altar call? Where did that come from? The oddball understanding of grace and why man has such control over his spiritual life? How he can make a decision? As good as this book is its heartbreaking as well to read the shift that took place from 1800 to 1831 that brought about the change in American thinking on these issues. I highly recommend it as we shall all understand our theological past.

5 comments:

Jason said...

Have you checked out the book THE LATE GREAT EVANGELICAL CHURCH? It deals with the issue of revivalism. Hear is a mall portion of what C.V. Doner writes. "The methodology of revivalism promotes an emphasis on religious feelings, personal experience,and immediate decision, rather than careful intellectual analysis of the broader dimensions of culture and institutional life. The horizons of the Evangelical mind tend to shrink from the wide vision of God's sovereignty over all of life to the more narrow confines of the impact of grace on the individual heart."

Reformed Renegade said...

That one I have not read. I have several books I'm reading. I may add it to the list. Glad you stopped by!

Jim said...

Since the Reformation, we have had many "Awakenings" which is another word for "revival". Luther was the famous who revived (restored). Revive means to "to restore". I agree with Vance Havner's quote, "A lot of our activity often mistaken for revival is just the church turning over, but not waking up."

I like also this quote by G Campbell Morgan, "We cannot organize revival, but we can set our sails to catch the wind from Heaven when God chooses to blow upon His people once again."

I have learned that by doing of the will of God leaves me no time for disputing about His providence plans and why things are happening around us.

By the way, I am not sure if anyone else have this problem. Everytime I open your blog, it takes forever to load and when I want to make a comment, it takes forever. I don't know why your blog is slow loading. I thought I let you know.

Jim

Jason said...

I assume he is talking about Reformed Renegade Blog and not mine. I don't have any trouble with this bog being slow loading. I'm glad because this is an excellent blog!

Reformed Renegade said...

Yes, I'm sure Jim is talking about this blog, not yours. Its likely slow loading from his connection and due to all the pics and widgets. Thanks for the compliment
- I appreciate it.