Thoughts on Revival – from Dynamics of Spiritual Life, by Richard Lovelace
“Jonathan Edwards was especially concerned to make clear that fallen human nature is fertile ground for a fleshly religiosity which is impressively ‘spiritual’ but ultimately rooted in self-love. High emotional experiences, effusive religious talk, and even praising God and experiencing love for God and man can be self-centered and self-motivated. In contrast to this, experiences of renewal which are genuinely from the Holy Spirit are God-centered in character, based on worship, an appreciation of God’s worth and grandeur divorced from self-interest. Such experiences create humility in the convert rather than pride and issue in the creation of a new spirit of meekness, gentleness, forgiveness and mercy. They leave the believer hungering and thirsting after righteousness instead of satiated with self-congratulation. Most important, their end result is the performance of works of mercy and justice.”
“In the extensive section on good works which closes Religious Affections, Edwards establishes the principle that a full-fledged revival will involve a balance between personal concern for individuals and social concern. A revival is therefore not something exclusively ‘spiritual’ and ‘religious.” Edwards insists that the proliferation of religiosity in the form of meetings, prayer, singing and religious talk will not promote or sustain revival without works of love and mercy, which will ‘bring the God of love down from heaven to earth … to set up his tabernacle with men on the earth, and dwell with them.’”
Contributed by Chris Musgrove, CCC staff at Auburn University
Following are some brief thoughts from Holly Sheldon re: the role of “words and deeds in tandem” in “East Asian” missions history:
Missiologically – the rise of the church in China was always solidly linked to bringing words and deeds in tandem for 1) access to people & 2) durable impact.This is largely true in the rest of Asia as well.
Some of the biggest public impact our own staff have made is working as teachers, flood relief, working in orphanages, campus clean-ups, etc. The GNGD or Black-Red proportion is why during the intensity of post-1949 Mao persecution & Cultural Revolution that the Chinese church actually grew exponentially without missionaries or any fulltime workers and under most dire circumstances.
It is a choice example of a large scale launch of Missional teams!! That is actually what house churches actually have always been. God mercifully forced China to move away from the western organizational model of 18th-19th century Christianity/church in the direction of lean missional teams.