Chapter

Theology of Revival

Michael J. McClymond and Gerald R. McDermott

in The Theology of Jonathan Edwards

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199791606
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932290 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199791606.003.0027
Theology of Revival

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To understand Edwards's theology of revival, it is important to interpret his revival writings in chronological order. Early writings, such as Faithful Narrative, are optimistic in tone and aimed primarily at cautioning detractors not to reject them because of particular external features. Over time, the writings become more tentative and are directed toward those who trusted in their exalted spiritual experiences. Yet throughout his life he always sought to provide a theology of revival that was empirically based and biblically informed. Ultimately he would urge the Old Lights not to reject a revival as spurious if it involved bodily and visionary experiences, and New Lights not to embrace a revival as genuine merely because it exhibited these phenomena. Despite differences between America's Great Awakening and Great Britain's Evangelical Revival, Edwards became the leading theological interpreter of the transatlantic revivals.

Keywords: revival; Great Awakening; Evangelical Revival; Old Lights; New Lights; affections

Chapter.  10358 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Christian Theology

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