Pentecost - Today?: The Biblical Basis for Understanding Revival Hardcover – 1 May 1999
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About the Author
Murray, born in Lancashire, England, was educated in the Isle of Man and at the University of Durham and entered the Christian ministry in 1955. He served as assistant to Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones at Westminister Chapel (1956-59) and subsequently at Grove Chapel, London (1961-69) and St. Giles Presbyterian Church, Sydney (1984-84), Although remaining a minister of the Presbyterian Church of Australia, he is founding trustee for Banner of Truth Trust.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
In one sense, the answer is disappointing. Murray, writing as a Calvinist, is convinced that there is nothing that you can do to create this, and, as a Calvinist, I absolutely agree. In another sense, however, Murray says we have every Biblical reason to petition the Lord, "work for it", and expect him to answer our prayers to fill us with the Spirit, so awakening, revival, and true power from the pulpit will be manifested.
The first chapter, which outlines the three traditional views of revival--"once and for all", "conditional", "old school--is essential reading. In short the different schools say three different things. The first says, the filling of the Spirit occured at Pentecost and we should not expect more today. It was a once and for all thing. The second view, conditional, says we must meet certain requirments ('clean hands & a pure heart'), then the Lord will send revival. The third view, which Murray promotes and I agree with, says that it is some sort of mixture of the two. Jesus Christ sits at the right hand of God the Father and "increases" experience and "increases" the "fulness" of the Holy Spirit. This view, I believe, is the most Biblical because in considers the work of Christ and the Holy Spirit from the Cross to Pentecost, recognizing the fulness of what God has done there, but recognizes that there is always an increase to be had in any relationship. The first view, I believe, minimizes this relational aspect, just as the second minimizes the legal or definitive aspect of the Lord's work.
The chapter on "Preaching and the Holy Spirit" is another must read. We need Reformed preachers that are filled with the Holy Spirit and love, and this chapter will provide plenty of historical precedent for "Calvinists" to be "filled with the Spirit" and completely loving towards their neighbors and in their sermons. God isn't grouchy, looking to strike us down.
Much more could be said, but in a brief Amazon review, I hope that whets your appetite to purchase this book.
Iain Murray has written this book to look at the later half of the 19th century and the beginnings of the 20th century concerning revival. Much of the modern cry for revival comes from this time period and yet sadly so does much of the theology. Charles Finney, as you will read, is the father of modern pragmatic theology and his followers such as Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, and other church growth "experts" fall into his theology and life. "If it works, if it brings results then do it" would be Finney's motto. And that is where the modern evangelical church is today. Ignore sound doctrine (1 Timothy 4:16; Titus 2:1) and give them what they want to hear (2 Timothy 4:3,4).
This should be required reading for all pastors and teachers of God's Word and may God send us a genuine revival that is full of His Word and His glory and not the traditions and teachings of men (Mark 7:1-13).
I purchase lots of Christian books ( I have in excess of 5,000) and find that many times, after reading volumes in their entirety, I have wasted my money. Not so here. More to follow.... My break is over... back to the book.
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