The Spirit of Revival: Discovering the Wisdom of Jonathan Edwards

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Crossway, 2000 - Religion - 223 pages
The Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God by Jonathan Edwards is one of the great classics of revival literature. A key figure of the Great Awakening, Edwards wrote this important discourse in 1741 just after the revival had reached its peak. In it you will discover a thorough examination of the true and false signs of revival based on the exhortations found in 1 John 4. Edwards concludes that while many a Spirit-led movement is accompanied by excesses and actions of a questionable nature, these negative signs do not necessarily disqualify it as authentic. You may be surprised at Edwards's remarkable balance in embracing the genuine enthusiasm in these elements while disavowing that there is definitely no supernatural origin for them. His critique is kind and gentle as he points to the true marks of revival: love and humility.

In The Spirit of Revival, editor Dr. Archie Parrish makes Edwards's entire work accessible by modernizing the text and adding explanatory footnotes. R. C. Sproul's extended Introduction effectively compares Edwards's nineteenth century to our society, and the Preface by Edwards's contemporary, William Cooper, also rings resoundingly to today's church. Edwards's work therefore provides more than just insight into the Great Awakening of his day. It is a map to follow for all revivals in all times and is of abiding value for us today.

"One studies the time and backgrounds of some men in order to understand them. Others have such rare greatness that one studies them in order to understand their times.... Jonathan Edwards was such an original." --Paul Ramsey, editor of Edwards's ethical writings in the Yale critical edition

"No man is morerelevant to the present condition of Christianity than Jonathan Edwards." --D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

"The western church... much of it drifting, enculturated, and infected with cheap grace... desperately needs to hear Edwards' challenge." --Charles Colson

"He speaks with an insight into science and psychology so much ahead of his time that our own can hardly be said to have caught up with him." --Perry Miller, former Harvard historian

"One of the most holy, humble and heavenly minded men that the world has seen since the apostolic age." --Ashbel Green, 1829, former president of the College of New Jersey

.,." the profoundest reasoner, and the greatest divine... that America ever produced." --Samuel Davies, 1759

"He was a man who put faithfulness to the Word of God before every other consideration." --Iain Murray, Edwards biographer

"The disappearance of Edwards's [theocentric] perspective in American Christian history has been a tragedy." --Mark Noll, Wheaton College historian

 

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Contents

INTRODUCTION
17
PREFACE
43
THE DISTINGUISHING MARKS OF A WORK OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD
53
INDIFFERENT SIGNS Elements That Are Neither Sure Signs of the Spirit Nor Marks of the Flesh or the Devil
57
BIBLICAL SIGNS Distinguishing Scriptural Evidences of a Work of the Spirit of God
87
PRACTICAL INFERENCES
109
EPILOGUE
153
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