The Challenge of Revival

Paperback, 64pp. Published by Fairmeadow Books, 31 Fairmeadows, Cwmfelin, Maesteg CF34 9JL, UK. Price £4.50, ISBN 0 9523478 6 5.

Paul Young is no stranger to the readers of Precious Seed as he has contributed many articles on a variety of subjects. In fact, this book has been worked from a series of lectures that the author gave, which were also turned into five radio talks for Trans World Radio, as well as an article for this magazine.

The book is a simplified account of the commencement, power and eventual decline of the Welsh Revival of 1904. From that event, the writer seeks to draw principles, linked to scripture, which form a guide to the conditions upon which revival can be built. He deals with the ministry of Evan Roberts, one of the principal characters in the movement, a simplified diary of the events, as well as the impact of the revival upon the spiritual, family, economic and social life of the principality.

The author explains the essential elements of revival when he says, ‘Revival comes to those who love the word of God, who know the word of God, who study the word of God, who preach the word of God and who are willing to obey the word of God’.

Although this is an interesting book, I was disappointed that the writer did not take time to qualify some of the statements made. For example, he fails to distinguish between the ‘outpouring of the Spirit’ and ‘being filled with the Spirit’. He does not explain what he means when he says, ‘God’s Spirit broke upon the preacher’, or ‘it felt that the fire of God had fallen’. These, and other comments relating to Annie Davies, describe aspects of the emotionalism of some of the gatherings that are not qualified until much later in the book. The lack of sound biblical teaching to accompany the revival was one of its major flaws that might have afforded more detailed treatment, particularly in the context of the quotes above.

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