Revived revivalism not reviving.
We had an excellent study led by Stephen on the life and times of Jonathan Edwards on Thursday. As well as being inspired by the great man we had a discussion of revival. I grew up in a church that often prayed for revival. But what is it? Why is it not mentioned in the Bible? Can it and will it happen?
I concluded that revival is not masses being converted at the same time which is what many people hold to. You cannot revive something that is dead. No, I believe revival is when God quickens His own people, be that Israel under the likes of Josiah or a local church when the prayer meetings are filled, the gospel proclaimed and fellowship blessed.
Richard suggested that mass conversions are better described by the term awakening, of which Edwards' and others' so-called Great Awakening is the best known.
One thing we can agree upon, however, is that revival is not people barking like dogs and speaking gibberish, neither is it Finney's 'revivalism' in which revival can be summoned on demand. Revival is when the Lord moves in His people so they love Him and others more, and serve them better.
Info on Jonathan Edwards will be added to the site soon.