Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Testing a "Revival"

Dan Phillips @ presents what he thinks about "the Florida revival" and it is a good test case to check the validity of "revival claims". Although he acknowledges no first hand knowledge of the event, he presents the Biblical grounds for evaluation:
  1. Believing in the sovereignty of God and having read (and believed!) Acts 2, I know that it is at best extraordinarily unlikely that it will manifest any revelatory or attesting gifts that have not been in regular evidence among Bible-believing Christians over the last 2000 years (1 Corinthians 12:11) — which is to say, not any. For that reason...
  2. I know that any claims to revelatory or attesting gifts will likely fall short of Biblical standards. This really, really matters to God (Deuteronomy 13:1-11; 18:20-22), so it should really, really matter to me. Specifically:
  3. I know that if the majority of unbelievers aren't, without any massaging or special sauce from the "revival's" advocates, goggling in slack-jawed and clueless astonishment at undeniably supernatural events, and desperately scrambling for explanations, any claimed miracles are nothing like real miracles (cf. John 11:47-48; Acts 3:9-10; 4:16).
  4. I know that if it doesn't center on and exalt the person and work of Jesus Christ, it's not Holy Spirit-breathed revival (John 16:14; Colossians 1:18).
  5. I know that if it wasn't produced by the preaching of the Word of God, it's not Holy Spirit-breathed revival (Nehemiah 9).
  6. I know that if it doesn't produce greater conformity to the written word of God, it's not Holy Spirit-breathed revival (Psalm 138:2; Matthew 28:18-20; John 8:31-32; 2 Peter 1:19-21)
  7. I know that if it doesn't produce holy living, which includes adorning behavior and specifically self-control, it isn't Holy Spirit-breathed revival (Galatians 5:22-23).
  8. I know that if the leaders of it aren't men well-known for embodying/pursuing the pastoral traits of 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9, and specifically for being in subjection to, and for soundly teaching, the whole Word of God, it's unlikely to be a Holy Spirit-breathed revival.
My mind is closed, to the best of my ability — to anything but a Scriptural perspective (Ephesians 4:13-14).

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