Is it possible we don’t see God working in mighty ways because we don’t ask him to work in mighty ways? Throughout history, God has used revival to build and renew his church. God-Sized Vision challenges us to pray expectantly to see his work in our own day. God can bring revival again to our community, our country, and our world. Our faith grows stronger when we learn how God worked in the past. The historical stories of worldwide revivals in this book enlarge our hearts and expand our minds as we see God at work in human history with a power that is still available to the faithful today. Here scholars Collin Hansen and John Woodbridge recount the fascinating details of world-changing revivals, beginning with biblical events and continuing through the Reformation, the Great Awakenings, the Welsh and Korean revivals, the East Africa Revival of the 1930s, and more recent revivals in North America and China. What did these revivals have in common? How can we prepare for—and expect—revival in our own culture? With accessible language and gripping examples, Hansen and Woodbridge explore these questions and more, strengthening our understanding of God’s work while deepening our faith in the possibility of revival—right where we are.
About the Authors
Collin Hansen (MDiv, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is editorial director for the Gospel Coalition. Formerly an associate editor for Christianity Today, he is the author of Young, Restless, Reformed and co-author with John Woodbridge of A God-Sized Vision. He has written for Books & Culture, Tabletalk, Leadership, and Christian History & Biography. He has appeared as a commentator on Fox News, and his work has been featured in Time magazine.John Woodbridge (PhD, University of Toulouse, France) is research professor of Church History and History of Christian Thought at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, where he has taught since 1970. He was previously a senior editor of Christianity Today and is the author of Biblical Authority: A Critique of the Rogers/McKim Proposal and coauthor of Letters Along the Way. He is the editor of Great Leaders of the Christian Church and coeditor of works including The Mark of Jesus. Woodbridge is the recipient of four Gold Medallion Awards.
This is the best book on Revival in decades. A magnificent, thoroughly biblically based look in the tradition of Edwards, Whitefield and Lloyd-Jones, with stories to transform your prayer life from Wales to China. Your vision of God will be far greater for reading this book. – Christopher Catherwood, , Author
In A God-Sized Vision, Collin Hansen and John Woodbridge do a remarkable job of summarizing the Spirit-wrought revivals of times past, and then challenging us to pray expectantly for the Holy Spirit to do a similar work in our day. There is no doubt that we desperately need such a ministry of the Spirit. I wish every pastor and Christian leader in America would read this book and begin to pray earnestly for authentic revival in our time. – Jerry Bridges, , Author
Hansen and Woodbridge have given us a rare book on revival. They affirm the supernatural, without being sensationalistic. They celebrate the surprising work of God, without downplaying the ordinary. They demonstrate the ecumenical scope of revival, without ignoring the important role theology plays in the ongoing health of the church. This book will guard us against complacency, cynicism, and, just as importantly, the naiveté that thinks revival solves everything. An encouraging, judicious, well-told tale of God’s amazing work around the globe throughout the ages. – Kevin DeYoung, , Author
Collin Hansen and John Woodbridge write very much in the spirit of Jonathan Edwards in narrating revivals as a means of edifying and inspiring. A God-Sized Vision provides accessible and thoughtful accounts of classic American revivals from Edwards to Billy Graham and includes important stories of how in the twentieth-century revivals become some of the most remarkable developments worldwide. – George Marsden, , Author
Hansen and Woodbridge rightly believe that our “modern crisis demands a God-sized response.” History demonstrates that true revival—the supernatural outpouring of God’s Spirit on and through His people—produces results that cannot be attributed to the best of human efforts or programs. The authors have done a great service to the Body of Christ by providing this treatment of the biblical moorings and patterns for revival and by chronicling some of those divine moments of the past when God pulled back the curtain and manifested his presence in an extraordinary way. This book will leave you longing for such a visitation of his Spirit in our day and praying, “Lord, do it again!” – Nancy Leigh DeMoss, , Author
The importance of spiritual revival and the necessity of conversion is being questioned in many evangelical and Reformed circles. I’m so glad that this book is appearing now, as a witness both to how God has worked in the church in the past and what he can do in the future. – Tim Keller, , Pastor
This book shows how God has moved in extraordinary ways throughout the history of the church. Genuine revival is not the result of marketing, technique, or entrepreneurship. As the stories here show, true revival comes as a “surprising work of God.” When this happens, lives are changed, the church reformed, and the world renewed. How we need such a stirring today! – Timothy George, , Dean of the School of Divinity
The church is ripe for a revival that will bring back true Christian values and empower it to become a powerful force for the transformation of society and for the reaping of a ripe evangelistic harvest. I have been praying for this for my nation Sri Lanka for over thirty-five years. During this long wait, I have had periods when I lose the urgency of desire for revival. At such times, few things help reignite the yearning for revival as much as reading books describing God’s work of reviving the church in history. This is what happened to me when reading this book. While reading, I had to stop often to reflect and pray for God to deal with areas in my life which needed his sanctifying, forgiving and healing grace. God reminded me that those who pray for revival must first pray for revival in their own lives. An added value of this book is that it shows how during some revivals the church neglected emphasising some key biblical themes and the unfortunate consequences of such neglect. For example, some revivals were used to challenge prevailing prejudice and injustice in society, whereas others neglected these with dire consequences. May this book challenge Christians to yearn for and pray for the church to experience all that God wishes for it. – Ajith Fernando, , National Director
Standing recently at the very spot where the Fulton Street revival broke out in the 19th century, I was struck anew by how God has shaped the church through periods of revival and reformation. Now, along come Collin Hansen and John Woodbridge to give us a panoramic and authoritative history of revival in America—and one that is accessible to every Christian. This is a book that will educate even as it will encourage all believers to pray for a revival of biblical Christianity in our times. – R. Albert Mohler Jr, , President
Compacted in this volume are accounts of the awe-inspiring work of God when he moves upon his people in revival power. The story is told by careful scholars who have a gift for making history come alive. Reading the book will lift one to noble thoughts and dreams of greater things. Take it as a rejuvenating vitamin for your soul. – Robert E. Coleman, , Professor
How soon we forget! While we must never despise the ordinary means of grace that God customarily uses in the salvation of men and women, we must not forget those extraordinary times when in his mercy God has seemed to come down and pour out his Spirit in such transforming power that all of our expectations are reduced to rubble in the sheer glory of the transforming presence of God. Yes, many of these movements had downsides and charlatans connected with them—but fair-minded assessment must stand in grateful awe for these “visitations.” May the renewed knowledge of what God has done in the past incite us to prayer that God would do it again. – D. A. Carson, , Professor
When studying the history of revival, one thing stands out: it’s always packs of God-dependent, unafraid, praying, “Here am I, send me” people that God uses to awaken churches and cities and cultures to the power of his might—and if ever the world needed the church to be revived, it’s now. For, the world doesn’t need our savvy programs; it needs God’s sovereign power. I pray that this stimulating study of revival and those that God has used to bring revival about will indeed stretch and stir the twentieth-first century church to realize once again that the ultimate factor in the church’s engagement with society is the church’s engagement with God. – Tullian Tchividjian, , Pastor and Author