Friday, April 24, 2009
If you are a regular with this blog, you know I am currently making my way through "In the Day of Thy Power" from Arthur Wallis. His godly, biblical insight is a refreshing salve in a religious atmosphere of easy believism and "corporate Christianity". This work is having an enormous impact on my vision and perspective on the work of the Lord, and as a result, my prayer life. Along the way there are sections that are simply too irresistable to not share, so here's the latest.
I'm currently in Chapter 6, "Distinctive Features". In this chapter discussing revival, Wallis refers to 'apostolic preaching':
"It was said that Charles Finney in dealing with souls had a fixed principle never to tell a man how to get right with God until he could not longer look him in the face. Only when his conscience had been so thoroughly awakened that he hung his head in shame over his sin, did he consider that he was ripe to be told the way of salvation. We may say that Finney went too far, but do we go far enough? It is vain to urge men to go to the Physician so long as they remain unconvinced that they are dangerously ill. A Puritan writer, Thomas Goodwin, remarked in this connection, "Traitors must be convicted and condemned ere they are capable of a legal pardon; as sentence must be pronounced before a legal appeal can be made.". When we try to foist a pardon on the rebel who has not been apprehended or convicted, we invite him to trample it underfoot."
Later Wallis talks about "anointed preaching":
"It was said of Gilbert Tennent, a contemporary of Jonathan Edwards, and mightily used in the New England Revival, "He seemd to have no regard to please the eyes of his hearers with agreeable gesture, nor their ears with delivery, nor their fancy with language; but to aim directly at their hearts and consciences, to lay open their ruinous delusions, show them their numerous, secret, hypocritical shifts in religion, and drive them out of every deceitful refuge wherein they made themselves easy, with the form of godliness without the power.... His preaching was frequently both terrible and searching." (Prince's Christian History)."
... and of Christ-centered preaching:
"It will be seen that these features constantly emphasize what has already been remarked, that revival does not lead us forward to fresh stunts or unexplored methods to make the gospel more atractive and acceptable, but back to the old and often disused paths of apostolic evangelism. Would we be ready for revival? - then let us "ask for the old paths, where is the good way and walk therin" (Jer 6:16). Where the Spirit of God is in complete control there is an inevitable return to the simple methods of the first century, and great is the surprise of many to discover that they not only still work, but that they still work the best. They are in fact the only channels capable of carrying the mighty rivers of blessing let loose in revival."