My Musings

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Revival: An Introduction

Revival. The word means many things to many people. To some it is a congregation of people shouting and running in circles under a tent. To others, it is the modern charismatic confusion. Still others think of nothing more than a week (or perhaps three days) with an evangelist (definition: “Someone who says what the pastor is afraid to say“). However, there is no wonder that this term is surrounded by so much confusion; it has been this way since the earliest days of its usage in a religious sense. Every great revival has had its critics and many times, the critics had just cause for criticism.

Suffice it to say that none of these views (though popular) is accurate. Historically, the term has been defined by two separate “schools” of thought. The first, in chronological order is the Reformed, Calvinistic viewpoint. This has been referred to through the years as the “Old School” view. This view was probably best developed and defended by Jonathan Edwards and basically defines revival as sovereign work of God whereby He greatly increases the influence of the Holy Spirit in His normal workings. The second viewpoint, first promoted by Charles G. Finney and carried on by such men as Billy Sunday and probably the most common mode of thinking today, is that revival is a result of God-given laws. In other words, “revival comes through prayer and hard work.”

Now, both of these viewpoints come from separate theological foundations. One, as stated before, fits well with Calvinism. The other fits well with Arminianism and much of modern weak theology (whatever you may want to call it). As a Baptist though, I am prone to reject all man-made systems of thought and go straight to the Bible. Over the years I have read much concerning revival, from historical accounts to theological works from both viewpoints. At the same time, I read much of the Word of God and gave much thought to this subject in light of God’s pure revelation. With this great wealth of (largely forgotten) information tucked safely away (somewhere) in my oversized head, I will undertake to summarize over the next couple of days several simple observations concerning this great subject.

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3 Comments:

  • Let's give some major Kudos to my brother, Pastor Delhotal for doing an awesome job at my first guest blogger segment at The Baptist Muse! He will be here today, tomorrow, and Tuesday.

    Great post, Chad. I love the way that you define revival and make it so easy to understand. Keep up the great work!

    By Blogger Nicholas Z. Cardot, At 8:55 AM  

  • Great Post,
    I can not wait to read the rest.




    Lord Bless....

    By Blogger Christopher Cline, At 7:54 PM  

  • This is a great post and I can't wait to read the rest. Good job Chad!

    By Blogger Diane, At 6:45 AM  

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