Throughout the world, Christians are experiencing times of renewal, and many churches see revival take place. For this, I rejoice.
However, it is clear that there are a variety
of renewal and revival movements. Some are good, some are bad, and some are ugly... Frankly, what I see taking place in some movements - notably those known as the Toronto Blessing
and Pensacola Outpouring
- worries and even scares me. I promote balance in renewal and revival, but not at all cost. After all, balance does not equal compromise. Error must be exposed and dealt with.
I believe there are plenty of churches where genuine renewal and revival is taking place. However, the issues shared here illustrate the tremendous need for balance and discernment, the need to test everything, and the need to focus on Jesus.
hristians don't always agree on everything. So, some of what you may read here may taste like sugar, while other things will taste like vinegar. Thus, as you read these articles, remember this:
omething that tastes like sugar to you may taste like vinegar to someone else. That doesn't necessarily mean the other person is 100% wrong, or you are 100% right. It only means his beliefs or experiences are different from yours.
f something tastes like vinegar to you, it does not necessarily mean that you should reject it. Likewise, something that tastes like sugar isn't necessarily always good.
herefore, make sure you follow the example of the Bereans (Acts 17:11
) and observe Paul's admonition to the Thessalonicans
(1 Thessalonians 5:19-22
t is my hope that the articles listed here will help Christians examine the many serious issues surrounding some of today's controversial renewal and revival movements.
P.S. A good place to discuss these issues, is AI's Renewal Discussion List
Apologetics, Truth, and Humility
an article from the Witnessing Tips column of the Christian Research Journal, spring 1992 - by Douglas Groothuis
. (Whether you are pro, contra, or somewhere in the middle regarding renewal and revival, keep these tips in mind when discussing the issues).
A Call To Charismatic Leaders
Statement from a group of Charismatic leaders in England, calling for Christians to reassert the centrality of Scripture as the basis of truth and the yardstick for assessing all our teaching and practice.
Divisions Are Not Always Bad
"Unity over doctrine" is today promoted by various movements, but A.W. Tozer shows that "unity is no treasure to be purchased at the price of compromise."
How To Try The Spirits
A.W. Tozer offers "a method by which me may test the spirits and prove all things religious and moral that come to us or are brought or offered to us by anyone."
Looking Beyond Toronto
Tricia Tillin looks at the source and goal of the "Second Pentecost."
Excellent article with a balanced approach to manifestations. By Robert Longman. Companion article: Specific Manifestations
A personal view of why they happen, and a short list of signs. By Robert Longman.
Offended by God?
By John Wimber, sharing that "Sometimes God offends our minds to reveal what is in our hearts." That statement is often heard in defense of all manner of manifestations. Find out what Wimber meant.
True and False Fire
By George D. Watson. Written at the turn of the century, but just as clear and valid today.
Two Kinds Of Judging
Should Christians Judge? See also: Criticism and Judgement Discernment Judging
Spiritual Gifts and Manifestations
A verse-by-verse study through 1 Corinthians 14.
Book Review: Hank Hanegraaff's "Counterfeit Revival."
Reviewed by James Beverley, in Christianity Today, Sept. 1, 1997
"The Prophetic Call - True and False Prophets"
Do you know the difference between the gift of prophecy and the office of the prophet? An online book by Arthus Katz. Very timely in light of today's interest for all things prophetic...
The "Toronto Blessing"
An online book by Stephen Sizer. A Theological Examination of the Roots, Teaching and Manifestations, and Connection Between the Faith Movement and the Vineyard Church. (10 Chapters, 2 Appendixes, and a Bibliography.)
Common Stumbling Stones
A few troublesome issues inside the Renewal and Revival Movements that need to be addressed. The response to this article led to the creation of AI's Renewal Discussion List
Why I Changed My Mind On The "Toronto Blessing"
Anton's personal testimony. Updated March 23, 1998.