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The Role that Books Can Play in Revival

Some Canadian Christian bookstore staff will know of Darryl Dash. He’s a Toronto church-planter and pastor who has also been a regular contributor to Christian Week, the Winnipeg-based national Christian news source. Each Saturday he publishes a short list of links which I always check in preparation for my own Wednesday list at Thinking Out Loud. I was quite taken with this article by Jared Wilson at For the Church, and decided to share the first half of it with you here. Click the title below to read the whole thing at source.

Bring the Books!

“When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments.” – 2 Timothy 4:13

One thing we see looking back at great movements of God (revivals and reformations) prompted by gospel preaching is that the preachers weren’t usually themselves “wakened” by preaching but by reading.

For some it was rich, gospel-drenched books:

– For George Whitefield, the greatest preacher in American history, it was Henry Scougal’s The Life of God in the Soul of Man. “Though I had fasted, watched and prayed, and received the Sacrament long,” he wrote, “yet I never knew what true religion was, till God sent me that excellent treatise by the hands of my never-to-be-forgotten friend.”

– For George Thomson, influential 18th century Anglican rector, it was William Law’s A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life.

– For Howell Harris, one of the great leaders of the Welsh Methodist Revival, it was Richard Allestree’s devotional work The Whole Duty of Man.

– For Charles Wesley, it was Martin Luther’s Commentary on Galatians.

– For John Wesley, it was Martin Luther’s Preface to Romans.

For some, it was in beholding Christ’s glory in the biblical text itself — not just the books, but the parchments:

– For Jonathan Edwards, it was 1 Timothy 1:17 that awakened his soul to the beauty of God’s sovereignty and caused him such delight that he wished he could be “rapt up to God and be, as it were, swallowed up in him forever.”

– For Martin Luther, (partly) it was the way Romans 1:17 and Habakkuk 2:4 fit together.

– For Augustine, it was Romans 13:13-14 which flooded his heart with light, ended his carousing, answered his mother’s longsuffering prayers, and began the most influential post-biblical theological ministry in Church history.

…click the article’s title above or here to continue reading…