Toward a Biblical Theology of Revival: An Examination of Spirit Baptism as the Possible Catalyst for Revival Ken Stiles

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140 pages


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Toward a Biblical Theology of Revival: An Examination of Spirit Baptism as the Possible Catalyst for Revival  by  Ken Stiles

Toward a Biblical Theology of Revival: An Examination of Spirit Baptism as the Possible Catalyst for Revival by Ken Stiles
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Revival is a bona fide phenomenon writ large on the pages of church history. There are countless works in which revivals are recounted from a biblically informed historical and devotional perspective. These treatments take for granted that God isMoreRevival is a bona fide phenomenon writ large on the pages of church history.

There are countless works in which revivals are recounted from a biblically informed historical and devotional perspective. These treatments take for granted that God is involved in revivals and can be generally divided into two camps. The first views revival as a surprising work of God in pouring out the Holy Spirit on the church. The second views revival no less as an outpouring of the Spirit upon the church, but goes on to posit that there are certain measures that man can take to trigger such an outpouring.

There is also a critical school of thought which has sought to explain revivals from psychological and sociological perspectives. These latter treatments of the subject tend to discount any supernatural involvement in revivals. The present writer is in full sympathy with those who view revival as the result of divine activity.Despite the differences between the first two camps mentioned, and although many subdivisions could be made within the two camps, they are united in viewing an outpouring of the Holy Spirit as the catalyst for revival.

To be sure, differing terminology has been used at varying times (i.e., effusion of the Spirit, baptism with the Spirit, outpouring of the Spirit, etc.), but a singular activity is signified. The difficulty for such a position is that a number of other understandings of Spirit baptism have been proffered that would seem to cut off the possibility of its being the catalyst for revival.

The purpose of this thesis is to determine whether it is a viable option to view Spirit baptism as the catalyst for the historical phenomenon that commonly goes by the name of revival.The introduction presents the salient issues involved in this study, and proposes a method of examining the various views of Spirit baptism by first constructing a biblical theology of Spirit baptism and then determining whether any of the views meet the relevant biblical criteria.

The construction of a biblical theology of Spirit baptism is the burden of this thesis and begins in chapter one with an examination of Old Testament passages that speak of a coming outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and their relation to the promised new covenant and the Spirit’s ministry under that covenant.

Chapter two discusses the connection between the message of the Old Testament prophets concerning an outpouring of the Spirit and John the Baptist’s message about baptism with the Spirit in the New Testament. This discussion is carried on along the lines of how various strands of dispensational theology understand the connection. Chapter three examines the pneumatology of John’s gospel as it relates to determining the beginning of the Spirit’s new covenant ministry.

Chapter four examines Spirit baptism on the day of Pentecost and how what is found there relates to Paul’s reference to Spirit baptism in his first epistle to the Corinthians (1 Cor 12:13). In the conclusion, utilizing the conclusions reached throughout the study, it is argued that it is indeed possible that Spirit baptism is the catalyst of the historical phenomenon known as revival.*Authors Note- Since I was unable to make the Hebrew and Greek fonts display properly, I transliterated the Hebrew and Greek throughout the work to conform to SBL standards.

The body of the text should now display correctly on any platform.



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