A Chronicle of Renewal and Revival

In the Spirit We’re Equal: The Spirit, The Bible, and Women – A Revival Perspective,  by Susan Hyatt (Dallas: HyattPress, 1998).

In the Spirit We’re Equal challenges our thinking about biblical womanhood, as does Susan’s report, “Women and Religions”, an article in this issue of the Renewal Journal.

“Susan Hyatt has an important message to convey: the Bible teaches an egalitarian relationship between men and women which was confirmed at Pentecost.  This volume is a valuable resource offering insightful understanding of the ‘real issues’, namely those of power and control,” says Professor Elizabeth Clark of the UK.

Susan Hyatt emphasises the following themes in her book.

What do Pentecostal/Charismatic people need to know about biblical womanhood and how might this theology be imparted to make a vital difference in the lives of God’s people?  This question arises in the context of the twentieth-century Pentecostal/Charismatic revival in which a biblically sound, historically informed, Spirit-sensitive theology of womanhood is needed to counter the Church’s traditional theology of womanhood and its hybrids.

Whereas the traditional theology, an hierarchical model, has a record of oppressing women, a Pentecostal/Charismatic theology, an egalitarian model, states that women are equal with men in terms of substance and value, function and authority, privilege and responsibility.

The starting point for such a theology is the message of Jesus as revealed by word and deed in the gospel record.  This harmonizes with the revealed will of God in the biblical record, particularly in the writings of Paul and in Genesis, accurately interpreted in terms of authorial intent.

This theology is also in harmony with the activity of the Holy Spirit, particularly in revival history as observed in movements such as the early Friends (1650-90), the early Methodists (1739-1760), nineteenth-century revival movements in America, and the early Pentecostal/Charismatic Revival (1901- 1907).

The Christian belief system must be constructed on the foundation of Jesus’ teaching and the Bible, accurately interpreted and confirmed by the activity of the Holy Spirit in history.  This is important because the practical implications of how people think theologically about womanhood affect everything from the fulfilment of the Great Commission to the issue of self-worth and to a myriad of topics in-between.  Clearly, the Church needs a way of thinking about womanhood that will result in biblical behaviour by women and toward women in all venues of Christian living.  This book explores that option.

This book offers men and women an opportunity to renew their minds according to the revealed will of God about half of the Body of Christ – the female members. Traditionally we have not done this, yet the Spirit is moving in our day to bring our thoughts in agreement with the will of God in many areas, including how we think about womanhood.

Susan Hyatt shows how this is important for many reason, not the least of which is the fact that, as we mature in Christ, we are to think more like him, and he taught that we are all created equal and unique before God.

It is also important that we renew our minds regarding womanhood because Jesus commanded us to go into all the world – to men and to women of all tribes and nations – teaching them to obey all that he commanded.  If we are not teaching his truth about womanhood, are we truly obeying the Great Commission?

As important as this is, however, we have a more important calling, and that is to know him.  As we abide in him, he gives us assignments.  But these assignments are only causes and must never displace the call.  The cause is not the call.

Susan observes: “One of the assignments God has called me to – much to my surprise – is to work with him to reform the way we think about womanhood.  God is wanting to answer the prayers of his people who are crying out for more – for more of him, for more revival, for more souls, for more!  His answer is coming to us in the opportunity to reform our thinking about womanhood.  He is asking us to come into agreement with his way of thinking about womanhood.  If we embrace it, we become deeper and wider channels for The River to flow deeper and wider into all the earth.  Won’t we take the limits off God in our lives and in the Church?”  (GW)

A Study Guide and teaching course using this book is also available from Hyatt Ministries:.

See Susan Hyatt’s article in this Renewal Journal: Women and Religions
Reference to Susan Hyatt in Sue Fairley’s article Women in Ministry..
International Women’s History Project and Hall of Fame
God’s Word to Women
Hyatt International Ministries
Eddie Hyatt’s book: 2000 Years of Charismatic Christianity – Review
Mailing Address: P. O. Box 3877, Grapevine, TX 76051 USA

Firestorm of the Lord by Stuart Piggin. 

Paternoster & Open Book, 2000.

Dr Stuart Piggin’s book makes scholarship on revival readily accessible with clear principles well illustrated from history, including recent history.  He writes as a renewed evangelical, unafraid to embrace the strengths of renewal and to warn against its weaknesses.  Australian readers will welcome his extensive use of our own stories of revival.

Stuart’s work as Master of Robert Menzies College and Associate of the Department of History at Macquarie University in Sydney includes being Principal of the School of Christian Studies and of the Centre for the Study of Australian Christianity.  He incorporates this rich research culture into his book.

The back cover summarises his approach and content:

Drawing extensively from the theology of Jonathan Edwards and Martin Lloyd-Jones, Stuart Piggin offers a systematic, biblical and pastoral study of revival.  He writes from the head and heart, with plenty of lively illustrations and real-life testimonies and quotations.  Piggin defines revival, looks at its biblical basis, identifies the marks of genuine revival and studies the phenomenon thoroughly across historical and denominational lines.  After laying his groundwork, Piggin offers much valuable and practical advice for revival.  Finally he explores the possibilities for God’s choosing to work in such a way again – in the next grace awakening.  Revival, he insists and proves, is a firestorm of the sovereign Lord through Jesus Christ in the power of the Hoy Spirit.

This book will enrich the library of any college, student or pastor, and provide ample material for evaluating a wide range of revival movements and phenomena.  Stuart rightly emphasises the centrality of Jesus Christ and his redeeming triumph on the cross in all things, including revival, when many people repent and find eternal life, or as Jesus said, have life and have it more abundantly.  (GW)

Early Evangelical Revivals in Australia by Robert Evans.

Open Book, Adelaide, 2001.  553 pages.

Reviewed by Dr Dean Drayton

This comprehensive study of surviving published materials about evangelical revivals in Australia covers the period 1776 to 1880.

Robert Evans has taken the initiative to place in reader’s hands reports of evangelical revivals in Australia.  Gallons of ink have been spilt telling us about revivals in other parts of the world.  Indeed for a long lime it was believed that there had been no revivals in Australia.

There have been many revivals in Australia.  The distinguishing feature is that most were local.  As Evans points out, Australia has never had a sustained revival involving many local congregations.

I have always been fascinated by the times when people became so aware of the presence of God that they were able to live with a new perspective for their life, a God centred perspective.  While at Salisbury in South Australia, I had the privilege of being present in a congregation when there was a time of renewal and conversion.  Once tasted this is never forgotten.

Having seen the reality of changed lives, one hopes the Church may discover we live in a time when the dam is empty, but flooding rains are on the way.  The proclamation of Jesus Christ as Lord has been the source of life giving floods of grace in many places across our country.  Here is direct evidence.  We need now to grow the expectation that the Holy Spirit has more than what we have received or accepted as the source of transforming power m human lives.

This book gives mostly the Methodist perspective up to the year 1880.  Only the Methodists seemed to have documented such events in that period.  Beyond 1880 the perspective widens into other denominations partly because other congregations discovered what could happen with special weekends and preachers opening up again the fountains of God’s holy love.

Here one discovers the importance of times of prayer and preparation, and the amazing accounts of the influence of California Taylor as he preached through the various states of Australia.  Robert Evans gives us a thoughtful analysis of the way as time passes the tendency is for the means of revival to come to centre stage rather than the message of the gospel itself.

One may ask, ‘Have revivals had their day?’ As one reads this book one discovers that the form of God’s renewal changes from age to age.  The question conies, ‘What is the way we can see again the power of God experienced in the life of ordinary folk?’  This book clearly sets out to let us know what has happened, to grow in the reader the expectation that God can do new things in our midst.  So, Holy Spirit surprise us, make us aware of your presence, bring us to our knees with the wonder of knowing you in our midst.

Available from Open Book, or though Christian bookshops.

Evangelical Revivals In New Zealand by Robert Evans & Roy Mckenzie.

Reviewed by Jeff Haines

If you are concerned about what God is doing in New Zea1and, or about revivals, or if  you want to consider New Zealand church history from a different perspective, then this is the book to challenge your thinking and move your heart towards God’s desire to see his people revived and the nation awakened.

This is the sort of book that has been needed for some time.  We have read about what God has done through reviva1s in many lands and now we have a well written history which reveals what has happened in revivals in New Zealand.

I have studied revival in New Zealand for some time now and I pleased that the authors have captured the essence of each historical period.  It is also the authors desire that this history will spur others to discover more fully the events surrounding the times, places and people involved.  The extensive bibliographies at the end of each chapter give plenty of scope for further study.

The book covers these three sections:

Introduction – which gives a clear definition of revival (a word which has many different definitions), and describes the purpose of the book.

Part 1 – A history of revival in New Zealand.  It has 14 chapters which cover the history of revival from 1814 to the present.

Part 2 – Some basic principles of revival.  It discuses the many principles of revival including the need for our involvement, social implications and theological aspects.

Evangelical Revivals In New Zealand is historical, theological and practical.  It is refreshing to read a book that presents the many dimensions of revival in an easy to understand manner.  The history is enriched by the theological reflection on revival.

Anyone interested in revival, and in the church in New Zealand should obtain a copy of this book.  You will discover want God has done in the past, learn the lessons of history, and take advantage of the practical advice plus the help offered in this book.  It will stir you to pray for God’s sovereign move in revival again.

$25 from the author Robert Evans, PO Box 131, Hazelbrook, NSW 2779 – bobevans@pnc.com.au

©  Renewal Journal #18: Servant Leadership (2001, 2012)  www.renewaljournal.com
Reproduction is allowed with the copyright included in the text.

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