Evidence at hand indicates that the great revival discussed by Robert E. Coleman (see page 10) may already be upon us. Revival is a period of renewed spiritual interest often characterized by emotionally charged evangelistic outreach. That we are in such a period is indisputable.
Consider: The Church in Africa has been growing at such a rapid rate that the continent may be predominantly Christian in just three decades. Christianity is also booming in South America; in some areas the evangelical community is growing up to fifteen times faster than the soaring birth rate. A similar spiritual groundswell is said to be building up in Eastern bloc nations, including the Soviet Union. Indonesia continues to experience the effects of revival. Multitudes of Koreans are coming alive to God. There are faint stirrings in Western Europe and India. And what is popularly known today as “the Jesus movement” has arrived in North America.
CHRISTIANITY TODAY reported the movement’s beginnings as far back as 1967 and 1968, before it had a name. (“The Jesus movement” is simply a youth-coined synonym for revival or—as it is called in Roman Catholic revival circles [see page 31]—renewal.) And we have been keeping abreast of developments since then in our news columns, though so much has been happening of late that it is hard to inscribe bench marks on every new outcropping of the Spirit. As a result of much attention from news media and because of the scope of the movement, especially among the young, we find that many church members—clergy included—are wondering whether it is all just a fad.
With so many thousands of young people involved, and given the reality of group-identity pressures, it can reasonably be assumed that cases of band-wagon ...1
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