Jonathan Edwards, Enthusiasts and the Brownsville Revival

This was going to be part of the review of Authentic Fire, but this bit of research ended up taking me longer than I thought.  Thanks to the people who pointed me to various resources for doing my research.  If my Authentic Fire review becomes an e-book at some point, this will likely be one of several appendixes.

 

I’m getting rather tired of charismatics calling on Jonathan Edwards to the defense of any number of absurd “manifestations” of the Spirit.  I first encountered the “Summon Forth the Edwards!” argument 2 decades ago and I’ve run into it continuously ever since.

signal

In my recent review of Authentic Fire by  Michael Brown, I encountered it again.  I noticed that Dr. Brown regularly reads his Charismatic experience back into the writing of Edwards and thus finds support where there would have been serious condemnation.  Dr. Brown frames the debate with some rather subtle rhetorical slight-of-hand says things like this:

To explain the background to this book, we need to remember that it is common during times of revival for there to be intense and unusual physical and emotional responses to the Spirit’s work, such as weeping, crying out, shaking, falling into trances, and the like. These can be disruptive, alarming, and unsettling, and not all of this activity can be attributed to the Holy Spirit. Is it demonic? Is it simply emotionalism? Or is it a genuine response to the Spirit? (Authentic Fire, Kindle Locations 2002-2005).

Now let’s unpack the statement “it is common during times of revival for there to be intense and unusual physical and emotional responses to the Spirit’s work, such as weeping, crying out, shaking, falling into trances, and the like…” Continue reading

Working on Chapter 5 review of Authentic Fire…

…but it’s a bear.  A big, snarling, Bear.

Bear

Why do I say that?

In Chapter 5, Dr. Brown deals with a fourteen points made by Jonathan Edwards, 2 major surveys, and the question of the Charismatic Movement in Africa.  I suspect that this will turn into a 2 part post, just so I can get it out at some point, but I’m no expert in Jonathan Edwards and have enlisted someone who is (and thanks go to Nick Hill for his help in finding resources).  I’m spending lots of time here, for starters.  Also I’ve got 350+ pages of surveys to sort through for this, and though it’s proving interesting, I’m not getting near the amount of time I need this week to tackle it properly. I was thinking of simply letting the time keep ticking with hopes that time would take care of the bear for me… Continue reading