After a brief discussion of four false notions of revival, Reformed blogger Kevin DeYoung, with 2 Kings 22-23 in mind, then turns to what he thinks true revival is.
So what is true revival? Here’s my definition: True revival is a sovereign, swift, extraordinary work of God whereby he saves sinners and breathes new life into his people.
- True revival is a sovereign (dependent on God’s timing, God’s doing, granted according to God’s pleasure)
- swift (conversions, growth, and change happen relatively quickly)
- extraordinary (uncommon, surprising)
- work of God (not ours)
- whereby he saves sinners (regeneration leading to faith and repentance)
- and breathes new life into his people (with renewed affections, commitment, and obedience).
One of the best examples of true revival in the Bible is the story of Josiah in 2 Kings 22-23. The story is not a blueprint to duplicate in every respect, especially because Josiah is king over a theocracy. But the story is instructive in so far as it gives us a picture of a sovereign, swift, extraordinary work of God. (You may read more on Kevin DeYoung’s take on true revival: Part 1 and Part 2.)
The story of King Josiah is always an instructive and compelling one. Perhaps, as Kevin DeYoung mentioned, we may look to for a true picture of what true and biblical revival is, as we continue to seek the face of the Lord for such in our time.