Monday, August 10, 2009

Citizen Revolutions

For several years I have been advancing the notion that we are in the midst of The Fourth Great Awakening. Awakenings occur when revivals of spiritual life mature into a social, cultural movement.

The Sixties and Seventies saw a huge international revival. Millions came to faith in Christ and were deeply touched by the Holy Spirit in many streams of living water. These revivals were interdenominational, ethnic, various ages and explosive.

The people who came to faith almost immediately decided to live out their new spiritual desires in small groups, house meetings, choirs, quartets, communes para church gatherings and Bible studies. The primary emphasis was on individual and Small group responsibility to lea God's word and live them out every day.

These groups tended to be egalitarian, open to everyone and under no specific authority structure, denomination or theological tradition. I was Associate dean at University of Cincinnati and we saw a wave of kids who were touched by the Holy spirit and who wanted to live daily by God's truth, grace, love and power.

One of my student friends came to UC from Cleveland where he had attended a Roman Catholic high school. On a retreat with father Jim Tommy was brought to faith in Christ and was born again. He was also "Baptized into the Holy Spirit" and started to witness to his friends and spend hours in prayer, fellowship and worship.

That was the genesis of the Jesus Movement and the revival precursor to the Fourth Great Awakening we are experiencing today.

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