Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Praying for a Revival...

Richard Baxter to the ministers of Great Britain:

Will you show your faces in a Christian congregation, as ministers of the gospel, and there pray for a reformation, and for the conversion and salvation of your hearers, and for the prosperity of the Church; and when you have done, refuse to use the means by which all this must be effected?
There is a curious practice of attending church, praying for 'revival' or 'reformation' to happen and then ...leaving church with no change in our actions. I'm not sure if it's just Google-lore or truth, but Einstein is purported to have defined insanity as "doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results". I think Baxter and Einstein would have agreed on this definition if they were talking about "doing the same thing over and over" as really meaning "doing nothing over and over" when it comes to Christian renewal. Pray yes, but don't refuse to use the means by which this must be effected.

What is the "means" by which this must be effected. According to Baxter, we ought to be
...catechizing, and instructing individually, all that are committed to their care, who will be persuaded to submit thereunto.
Perhaps some parallels to another book we read recently...The Trellis and The Vine.

Baxter expounds the objectives of this 'means'
... this is the work that, through the grace of God, which worketh by means, must reform indeed; that must expel our common prevailing ignorance; that must bow the stubborn hearts of sinners; that must answer their vain objections, and take off their prejudices; that must reconcile their hearts to faithful ministers, and help on the success of our public preaching; and make true godliness a commoner thing than it has hitherto been. I find that we never took the best course for demolishing the kingdom of darkness, till now.
I think that's a great goal - making true godliness a commoner thing than it has hitherto been.

As Jude said...git'er done.

1 comment:

  1. Jude has been known to sport a handle bar moustache, he has camo clothes, and a gun rack...he can get away with saying git'er done. Cherry......???