Christian Living

Spiritual Life

"Revival, fall on me"—these words from a popular chorus echo the cry of Christians around the world today. Is revival in our generation possible? Crime, racism, AIDS, abortion—the social ills besetting us seem irreversible unless God intervenes. It may surprise you to learn that this spiritual and moral decline has occurred before. Indeed it fits a pattern, or cycle that is readily observable in history. Like the judges in Israel who were raised up to deliver the nation from bondage, God has raised up individuals and movements to restore biblical truth and to reform the church. This renewal has in turn sparked a transformation of society.

This course examines the reality of revival and suggests, through an examination of the biblical and historical pattern, how we may have a role in its coming. Revival is first defined. Then the activity of the Spirit through the "dark ages" before the Reformation is featured. The causes and consequences of the Reformation are discussed fully. The personalities and doctrines of this influential revival are profiled. Next we jump to the First and Second Great Awakenings, to the Wesleys, Edwards, Whitefield, and Finney, to the campmeetings and circuit riders who blazed new trails for the preaching of the gospel. 

After D. L. Moody, we come to our own century, with the Welsh Revival under Evan Roberts and the Pentecostal movement with roots at Azusa Street. We next look at the revivals of our day—the healing revivals, and the Jesus and charismatic movements. Revival around the world is highlighted next, with a look at the recent renewal in Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the former Soviet Union. How do we know revival has broken out? The features of revival are presented to help you distinguish a genuine move of the Spirit. Finally, our role in the coming revival is discussed, particularly the importance of prayer. 

Studying the history of revival provides solid evidence that God wants to redeem and transform both the church and society today. By studying "Revival by the Book" - recalling the people and events of revival history, our faith is strengthened, and we are spurred to pray for awakening with confidence and understanding.

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