A Brief Book Summary from Books At a Glance
by Benjamin J. Montoya, PhD
The topic of revival in America remains one of importance, especially considering recent events. This book covers the topic starting before the two Great Awakenings and then surveys both and beyond. The goal of this book is to make a distinction between revivals and revivalism and then argue for the former, not the latter. There is no doubt people are quick to label public events as revivals, but this book draws careful attention to what genuine revival is. Read our summary to learn more!
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Samuel Davies and the Meaning of ‘Revival’
Chapter 2 Princeton and the First Fruits of ‘A Glorious Plan’
Chapter 3 Glory in Virginia
Chapter 4 When Theology Took Fire
Chapter 5 The Age of the Second Great Awakening
Chapter 6 Kentucky: 1800
Chapter 7 The Emergence of Revivalism
Chapter 8 Five Leaders in the Northeast
Chapter 9 ‘New Measures’ and Old Revivals?
Chapter 10 Origins of a Great Division
Chapter 11 ‘The Illusion of a New Era’
Chapter 12 The Baptists in Transition
Chapter 13 James Waddel Alexander and the New York Awakening of 1857–58
Chapter 14 Old and New, Past and Future
Chapter 1: Samuel Davies and the Meaning of ‘Revival’
Starting with Samuel Davies to discuss the meaning of revival is a rather practical and convenient one because his work and discussions of the topic predate the Great Awakenings. He was a pastor who served a large area of Virginia by himself, such that after he was replaced, several ministers were required to take his place.
He described revival in terms of the necessary work of the Spirit of God. Mankind is depraved in his sins, deserves judgment, and, as a result, he requires the work of the Spirit of God to awaken him. The revival of someone’s life is a new birth described in Scripture. After a revival occurs, the signs are always the same—people have a genuine love for one another and there are the same kinds of signs that we saw in the NT after the Spirit moved in people’s lives. There becomes a genuine fever for the things of God that did not exist in that person’s life before.
Why is this important? Genuine revivals, whenever they happen, must be viewed in this larger scriptural light that Davies captured so well. When these marks are missing, there is no true revival; there have been plenty of instances where people have claimed revival only to reveal it was an emotional event, not a true change. That is why some people’s lives are never truly changed, as we will see from the historical survey that follows. . . .[To continue reading this summary, please see below....]
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Buy the books
REVIVAL AND REVIVALISM: THE MAKING AND MARRING OF AMERICAN EVANGELICALISM, by Iain H. Murray