At the time of the recording of this podcast, a religious phenomenon known as a “revival” has been taking place for almost 2 weeks at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky. This revival began a couple weeks ago, in which there have been around the clock non-stop times of singing, prayer, the reading of Scripture, live testimonies, and some light preaching. This has all happened spontaneously, organically, and without any prior organization. And there are signs of such things starting to take place in other locations around the country, primarily among college students.
Some fundamentalist types aren’t happy about this revival in Asbury, because it doesn’t fit into a box built by Jonathan Edwards. They have a certain checklist of ideas of what a revival should and should not have. They think there should be a lot of fiery sermons on repentance, and should be free of music written by Hillsong, and that nobody anywhere should get emotional or speak in tongues.
Likewise, there are many progressives who are upset because there’s not enough of a “social gospel” component to things. They won’t be happy unless the revival has a certain diversity & inclusion ratio, or unless everyone leaves the services speaking with the tongue of Karl Marx.
I am really bothered by the way we think about this entire thing. And I think we need to think about the way we think, because the way we think about things can often leave us with a flat and rigid hermeneutic and way of interpreting the Scriptures and the world in such a way that we can’t see the signs of the times around us, and end up crucifying Jesus all over again. Such is nothing but the ministry of death.
A lot of the critiques of the Asbury Revival ultimately amount to people being upset over a bunch of college students having a prolonged prayer meeting and enjoy a time with each other while worshipping Jesus. Such is just a terrible thing apparently that everyone feels the need to write scathing and cynical criticisms about.
In this podcast, I wish to explore some of the criticisms being leveled against the Asbury Revival, both on the theological left and right, and how we might better understand this revival, and whether or not it is of the Spirit of God.