Monday, May 30, 2016
Review: "Penetcostal Outpourings"
Pentecostal Outpourings: Revival and the Reformed Tradition edited by Robert Davis Smart, Michael A. G. Haykin, and Ian High Clary is a book I looked forward to reading, having been impressed with the publication of Reformation Heritage Books, though the title threw me off a bit – it didn’t sound like a book they would publish.
Having finished the book, I know that the title was intended to provoke: the editors explain that Reformed people have so backlashed against the abuses of some Pentecostal groups, that they are suspicious of anything which indicates the involvement of God the Holy Spirit – which is a horrible and wrong reaction, as we believe in the Three Persons of the Trinity working together to accomplish Their purpose (255).
The chapters – all authored by unique authors – look at the Reformed/Calvinistic revivals in the UK and the US over the past four hundred years.
The authors look at Welsh Calvinist Methodists, Irish Presbyterians, Calvinistic Baptists, Scottish Presbyterians, Jonathan Edwards, Congregationalists, American Baptists, and the Dutch Reformed.
As a work of history, it is scholarly and readable, with many footnotes which one can follow up to read additional period and critical texts. But the primary hope of the authors is, as they conclude: “We  confess  absolute dependence upon the Lord for continual outpourings of the Spirit, but we also ask you to join us in seeking God for revival today” (256). To that end, several of the authors mention Jonathan Edwards’ book, An Humble Attempt…, which I have now added to my reading list.
In reading these histories, the reader is struck with the truth that God the Holy Spirit is Sovereign and moves as He sees fit, and the reader is struck with the truth that God answers the prayers of His people at are in accordance with His Will. May we be strong and passionate in praying for revival that glorifies God and builds His Kingdom as we proclaim the Gospel, and may God be pleased to grant revival in this day – for the joy of His people. May it be so! Amen.
[This review appears on my blog and Amazon.com. I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.]