A God-sized Vision: Revival Stories that Stretch and Stir

Knowing How God has Worked in the Past is Critical to Understanding His Intentions for the Future

“Revival doesn’t come to respectable Christians. The basis of revival is men and women shattered by their failures—aware that all is not well, helpless to do anything about it.”

-Ugandan Bishop Festo Kivengere

Collin Hansen and John Woodbridge’s book, A God-sized Vision: Revival Stories that Stretch and Stir traces the historical and global impact of spiritual awakening. It is a perfect follow up to Tuesday’s post, Do America’s Schools and Churches Need ‘Revival’? The Culture-making Power of Spiritual Awakening.

I highly recommend it for anyone wishing to delve deeper into the culture-making power of spiritual awakening.

Brandon O’Brien’s review below.


Book Review: A God-Sized Vision: Revival Stories that Stretch and Stir

By Brandon O’Brien editor at large for Leadership.

For me, the word “revival” usually brings to mind sweating, red-faced evangelists berating sweet old church ladies for letting their spiritual fires fizzle. …With A God-sized Vision: Revival Stories that Stretch and Stir (Zondervan), Collin Hansen and John Woodbridge restored my image of revival… (W)hat I found most interesting were stories of spiritual awakening worldwide, in places like East Africa, China, India, Wales, and Korea.

One of the authors’ great accomplishments, then, is correcting what may be a common stereotype of “revivalism” for many Americans. If they’re right, revival looks different in different places. For businessmen in North America in the mid-nineteenth century, revival began not with tents and sawdust trails, but with lunch-hour prayer meetings. In Korea, the movement of the Spirit ignited with the confession of sins—big ones, like adultery and murder—and brought missionaries of different denominations together for the gospel. In India, it began when Hindu convert PanditaRamabai provided room, board, and education for helpless Indian women and orphans and encouraged them to pray for a mighty work of God.

I don’t hear many people talking about revival these days. You might think, then, that the topic is interesting but ultimately irrelevant. Not so. Although the authors don’t make the connections explicit, A God-sized Vision intersects with and informs several important contemporary issues.

First, at a time when we Western Christians are increasingly aware that we should pay more attention to Christian traditions in other places on the planet, Hansen and Woodbridge introduce us to some important players and events in global Christian history in the last 100 years…

Second, there has been a division between the “head” and “heart” in American Christianity for almost as long as there have been Christians in America. A God-sized Vision challenges this easy distinction…

Third, in light of the renewed interest in social justice among American evangelicals, the authors do a great job pointing out the social benefits of revival, especially in other countries…

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2 Replies to “A God-sized Vision: Revival Stories that Stretch and Stir”

  1. Revivals unfortunately are not as they used to be. Hopefully with The Great American Fast Sunday July3, 2011 that will start to change in at least one small corner of America. This is a 12 hour fast and prayer service seeking a return to God in America. The following is the press release: The Great American Fast

    Contact: Michael Adams, 937-689-0599

    BELLEFONTE, Penn., June 5, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ — Evangelist Michael Adams of Isaiah Michael Ministry will be speaking at The Great American Fast July 3, 2011. The Great American fast is a twelve hour service dedicated to fasting in prayer and revival of Christian America. Lifegate Baptist Church of Bellefonte, Pa. will be hosting this day of spiritual awakening for The United States of America.

    Evangelist Michael Adams states:

    "We have devoted our lives to preaching revival in America. We believe it is time for Christians to once again make their voices heard. We have been silent too long. It is time to take back America. Regardless, of what our president has said, we are a Christian nation. Our forefathers established this nation on Biblical principles, principles we have gradually let slip away. We have given in, shut up, and sat down. I for one believe America once again can see the glory of our forefathers and the blessings of God. What it will take is Christians falling on our faces repenting to God for allowing this to happen.

    "How do I plan for revival to occur? I will be preaching in The Great American Fast in Bellefonte, Pa. My message will be from the Book of Acts. Several times Luke said 'the people were of one accord.' That is where we need to be 'of one accord.' We believe when Christians pull together in one accord seeking God and taking a stand, America will fall into the hands of our merciful God. Then we will hear the words spoken in Acts 17:6 'these that have turned the world upside down have come here too.'"

    For further information on The Great American Fast see http://www.thegreatamericanfast.org. To schedule Isaiah Michael Ministry to bring this revival message to your church, see our website http://www.ohiofoodministry.org.

    Michael is an evangelist, author and open air preacher. He has two e-books at http://www.kindle.com The Day My King Wore a Crown and Pray For Me, I Have the Colon Cancer. God has blessed him with a ministry feeding children of a low income apartment complex. It is a Food 4 Thought Ministry where those in need are feed both physically and spiritually. To follow these ministries in Evangelism, feeding children and carrying the cross, see the website http://www.ohiofoodministry.org.

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