Is it possible we don’t see God working in mighty ways because we don’t ask him to work in mighty ways? Throughout history, God has used revival to build and renew his church. God-Sized Vision challenges us to pray expectantly to see his work in our own day. God can bring revival again to our community, our country, and our world.
Our faith grows stronger when we learn how God worked in the past. The historical stories of worldwide revivals in this book enlarge our hearts and expand our minds as we see God at work in human history with a power that is still available to the faithful today. Here scholars Collin Hansen and John Woodbridge recount the fascinating details of world-changing revivals, beginning with biblical events and continuing through the Reformation, the Great Awakenings, the Welsh and Korean revivals, the East Africa Revival of the 1930s, and more recent revivals in North America and China.
What did these revivals have in common? How can we prepare for—and expect—revival in our own culture? With accessible language and gripping examples, Hansen and Woodbridge explore these questions and more, strengthening our understanding of God’s work while deepening our faith in the possibility of revival—right where we are.
“Following the characteristic pattern of revivals, recovering Scripture brought conviction, followed by repentance, resulting in rejoicing, because the redeemer God doesn’t abandon those who seek his face.” (Page 23)
“‘The inevitable and constant preliminary to revival has always been a thirst for God, a thirst, a living thirst for a knowledge of the living God, and a longing and a burning desire to see him acting, manifesting himself and his power, rising, and scattering his enemies.’” (Page 15)
“We pray with Lloyd-Jones: ‘Let us lay hold upon Him and plead with Him to vindicate His own truth and the doctrines which are so dear to our hearts, that the church may be revived and masses of people may be saved.’” (Page 17)
“Spiritual decline and threatening enemies have often spurred believers to pray for God to send revival. He responds favorably not to exalt earthly leaders but to defend and display the glory of his name. In a moment he brings hope to the most hopeless circumstances. But as quickly as revival comes, it can depart. A generation may rise that does not remember what the Lord has done.” (Page 23)
The importance of spiritual revival and the necessity of conversion is being questioned in many evangelical and Reformed circles. I’m so glad that this book is appearing now, as a witness both to how God has worked in the church in the past and what he can do in the future.
—Tim Keller, pastor, Redeemer Presbyterian Church
We live in immensely serious times, and this book is a serious response that could truly inspire the church to do what it must do in our world today. May God use this to light a fire among his people.
—Chuck Colson, founder, Prison Fellowship and the Colson Center for Christian Worldview
This book shows how God has moved in extraordinary ways throughout the history of the church. Genuine revival is not the result of marketing, technique, or entrepreneurship. As the stories here show, true revival comes as a “surprising work of God.” When this happens, lives are changed, the church reformed, and the world renewed. How we need such a stirring today!
—Timothy George, dean, the School of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School
How soon we forget! While we must never despise the ordinary means of grace that God customarily uses in the salvation of men and women, we must not forget those extraordinary times when in his mercy God has seemed to come down and pour out his Spirit in such transforming power that all of our expectations are reduced to rubble in the sheer glory of the transforming presence of God. Yes, many of these movements had downsides and charlatans connected with them—but fair-minded assessment must stand in grateful awe for these “visitations.” May the renewed knowledge of what God has done in the past incite us to prayer that God would do it again.
—D. A. Carson, professor, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
. . . Now, along come Collin Hansen and John Woodbridge to give us a panoramic and authoritative history of revival in America—and one that is accessible to every Christian. This is a book that will educate even as it will encourage all believers to pray for a revival of biblical Christianity in our times.
—R. Albert Mohler Jr., president, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
. . . few things help reignite the yearning for revival as much as reading books describing God’s work of reviving the church in history. This is what happened to me when reading this book. While reading, I had to stop often to reflect and pray for God to deal with areas in my life which needed his sanctifying, forgiving and healing grace. God reminded me that those who pray for revival must first pray for revival in their own lives. An added value of this book is that it shows how during some revivals the church neglected emphasizing some key biblical themes and the unfortunate consequences of such neglect. . . . May this book challenge Christians to yearn for and pray for the church to experience all that God wishes for it.
—Ajith Fernando, national director, Youth for Christ
Compacted in this volume are accounts of the awe-inspiring work of God when he moves upon his people in revival power. The story is told by careful scholars who have a gift for making history come alive. Reading the book will lift one to noble thoughts and dreams of greater things. Take it as a rejuvenating vitamin for your soul.
—Robert E. Coleman, professor, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
Collin Hansen (MDiv, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is an editorial director for the Gospel Coalition. Formerly an associate editor for Christianity Today, he is the author of Young, Restless, Reformed. He has written for Books & Culture, Tabletalk, Leadership, and Christian History & Biography. He has appeared as a commentator on Fox News, and his work has been featured in Time magazine.
John Woodbridge (PhD, University of Toulouse, France) is a research professor of Church history and history of Christian thought at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, where he has taught since 1970. He was previously a senior editor of Christianity Today and is the author of Biblical Authority: A Critique of the Rogers/McKim Proposal and coauthor of Letters Along the Way. He is the editor of Great Leaders of the Christian Church and coeditor of works including The Mark of Jesus. Woodbridge is the recipient of four Gold Medallion Awards.