The Abuse of Spiritual Gifts or Carnal Peace? (Owen)

In chapter 8 of "A Discourse of Spiritual Gifts" John Owen mentioned the fact that the Holy Spirit does indeed give spiritual gifts to every believer. And it is every believer's duty to utilize his or her spiritual gifts to bless others. Owen then noted how many in his day had neglected the duty of… Continue reading The Abuse of Spiritual Gifts or Carnal Peace? (Owen)

Pastors Protecting People from the Real God? (Lovelace)

This section of Richard Lovelace's The Dynamics of Spiritual Life caught my eye this morning. The following quote comes right after Lovelace's mention of the Protestant Reformation and its emphasis on Scripture's teaching about the holiness of God, the sinfulness of man, and man's need for justification by faith, not works. Subsequent generations, however, gradually… Continue reading Pastors Protecting People from the Real God? (Lovelace)

Spiritual Impulses, Errors, and Delusions (Edwards)

 Jonathan Edwards was around ten years older than George Whitefield.  Both were involved in the famous revivals of the 1730's and 40's.  Edwards and Whitefield did meet and were both interested in promoting revival, so they had common ground.  However, as George Marsden notes, Edwards was somewhat critical of Whitefield.  Below is Marsden's summary of… Continue reading Spiritual Impulses, Errors, and Delusions (Edwards)

Fanaticism Is Not Faith (Or: One Conversion Will Suffice)

Ichabod Spencer's A Pastor's Sketches is an excellent resource of a 19th-century pastor's deeply spiritual conversations with various people in his ministry.  In one journal entry, Spencer talked about a young woman who claimed to have been converted three times in a church that emphasized revivals, emotions, and experiences.  Her emotions and affections were excited,… Continue reading Fanaticism Is Not Faith (Or: One Conversion Will Suffice)


  The kind folks at EP books sent me a review copy of Paul Cook's Fire From Heaven: Times of Extraordinary Revival.  To be honest, I have mixed feelings about revivals: some had to do with solid doctrine and true calls to faith and repentance.  Others had to do with emotional frenzy and unbiblical mysticism.  Cook's… Continue reading Revival