Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Jared Wilson: I won't prelable revival

It's one among many reasons I stopped being Pentecostal that I often heard people talking about revival, the need for revival, and how we needed to get God back into America again.  I began to take the very skeptical position that a lot of Christians wanted a revival, a Third Great Awakening more for the social and political implications they hoped would go with it.  It began to seem as though there was something faintly mercenary in how American evangelicals wanted revival to happen.

Sure, there was the First Great Awakening, and then the Second Great Awakening.  Depending on who you talk to the first was awesome and the second was terrible.  Or both were awesome.  Or the second was better because it wasn't something happening in Calvinist circles.  The First Great Awakening came about a generation before the American Revolutionary War.  The Second Great Awakening picked up steam in time to precede the American Civil War.  If the dubious pattern (of course it can be considered a dubious pattern every which way, as far as that goes) what would a Third Great Awakening eventually lead to?

I don't know that what I'd like to see is yet another revival.  I would prefer Christians simply be involved in being a blessing to others where ever they are at.  Besides, revival, whatever form it takes and however it comes about, is not something that can (or should) be engineered by ambitious American Christians.  Revival itself could be one of those idols in American evangelicalism.  Considering the spread of Christianity in Asia there's no reason to assume that an explosion of Christian evangelism and activity has to be in the United States.

The other thing, too, is that an explosion or expansion of American style evangelicalism may not be a good thing but I'll have to save that for some other time.

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