Tim Keller, founder and pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, NY, has recently blogged about revival. His insights are well worth reading:
What I learned was this: Revivals can be longer, lasting several years, or shorter, enduring only a few weeks; they can be more widespread, affecting a whole town or region or country, or more narrow in scope, such as just one congregation. But they are seasons in which the ordinary operations of the Holy Spirit are intensified many-fold. “Sleepy” and immature believers become electrified through joyful repentance and put Christ in the center of their lives. Nominal Christians within congregations get converted and testify to the fact, which leads to more sleepy believers waking up. In turn, non-believers are drawn in to the beautified Christian community and begin embracing Christ in numbers that defy normal explanations. The “church growth” can’t be accounted for by demographic-sociological shifts or efficient outreach programs in such cases. Most telling of all, the corporate worship gatherings are thick with a sense of the presence of God that is not orchestrated by the presiders.
What brings about such seasons? Is it even right to talk about ways and “means”?
Read the full post here.
Keller, followed that post up describing five different “ways and means” here, clarifiying the difference between Finney-esque revivalism and Gospel-grace revivalism.