We need to ask the question what is the connection between Revival and Theology? When we talk about revival many people seem to think of revival being on a subjective level and that theology is only for those who are not open to a dynamic relationship with God. On the other hand,many theologians are suspicious of any revival movement because it does not fit it into their neat categories.
It would help if we define Revival, I believe revival is a return to Apostolic Christianity. If that is so then we need to look closely at the book of Acts and the Letters to see what happened. Pentecost is often seen as the example with its signs and wonders but very often the preaching at Pentecost is forgotten. When Peter stands up and preaches he does so to testify to the love and grace of God in Christ. He witnesses to the truth,and as he does so people respond and amazing things happen. Throughout the book of Acts when we look at the preaching of the Gospel we find it filled with theological content. The Apostles proclaimed a gospel which was rooted in the actions of God in history, and as they did so they saw that same God act in amazing and powerful ways.
The Letters of the Apostles bear witness to the same thing they show a desire for the Gospel to spread, but not by manipulation or whipping up of emotions, but rather by careful teaching about who God is and what he has done for his people. Paul in the Book of Romans spells out the awfulness of mans sin before declaring the way of salvation, he then moves onto the implications of his teaching for the Christian life. If this is right true revival needs good theology to keep it rooted in The word of God. Let the Apostle sum it up for us,he says in 1Thessalonians 5: 19-21
Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good.
When the church has adhered to this guideline it has produced much fruit.In my next post I want to show how Revival and Theology have been linked in Church history