A blogging friend asked me to promote OneCry, and I gave them 2 sentences in the Read & Share posting yesterday. I feel I can do better than that.
I grew up in a series of small, fundamentalist churches. We read the King James Bible and abstained from “mixed bathing.” The men wore pants, the women wore dresses, and no one wore shorts. And twice a year we ran revival. I could empathize with Michael Spencer when he described a very similar experience growing up, and got what he meant by evangelicalism and revivalism. The need for revival is great, but I get a little uneasy when people talk about having one.
The difference between Revival and Revivalism
There is a certain revival culture that exists among evangelicals, particularly among fundamentalists. I have come to believe that you cannot “schedule” revival twice a year just because you book an evangelist for a week and meet every night at 7 p.m. If an evangelist is preaching every night, and you hope to see lots of people walk the aisle and get saved, then that’s not really a revival anyway. Revival would involve Christians already in the church being spiritually awakened, or recommitting to being about our father’s business. There was certainly an evangelistic thrust in all of my childhood revival meeting experiences, but every church member was expected to be there every night also. Maybe that covers all the bases. If you want to schedule an evangelist to preach for a week at your church, by all means please do so. But call what it is. Continue reading