Editor’s Introduction -- By: John H. Armstrong
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What is true revival? How do I know when claims of the Spirit’s unique work in revival are false? In an age gone virtually mad with talk about revival is there any good reason to still use the term? These questions set the context for this issue of Reformation & Revival Journal.
True revival is still the hope of many who pray for the recovery of an exhausted and weak church in our time. But it seems as if almost everyone is talking about revival these days. Christian leaders ought to be exercised by the need for revival, and pray accordingly. They also should be troubled by the growing false claims of revival. And they ought to be able to tell the difference. It is imperative that godly leaders be enabled to separate the wheat from the chaff in terms of revival claims.
Clearheaded biblical discernment appears to be missing in many corners of the church in our generation. On the one hand we have so many professions of faith and reports of the Spirit moving in powerful revival that you would think these were the greatest days in the entire history of the church. On the other hand we have a number of confessional church bodies and leaders who steadfastly resist the idea of revival as a positive thing for the church in our time. Some even insist that revival is no longer possible. The editorial staff of this publication disagrees with these two reports. Whereas we believe that revival is God’s gift we also believe in the need to call men and women to seek the face of God in true repentance. We long to see God stir up His people and “rend the heavens” (Isa. 64:1) once again. We are also convinced that if God grants a true revival it will result in a recovery of the power of God in the message of the gospel. Nondoctrinal, or theologically
RAR 8:2 (Spring 1999) p. 8
unsound, revivals are never the answer to the church’s immediate problems.
Will you join us in praying that the truth which has been trampled down in the streets of our age will be restored? And will you join your effort with ours to seek our holy, sovereign God for another outpouring of His mercy upon the church? My personal prayer is that this issue of the Journal will stir your soul to these ends.
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