Wesley, Baxter, Edwards, and Alline
All have something in common. They focus much on human responsibility. There is a great deal to learn from them, but a sneaking suspiction that there is something amiss in the ideas.
There is a hungering to have an experience with God, and you’re not considered a Christian until you do. It’s impossible to seek so hard and so long for something if you’re not a Christian already.
These men were already hungrily seeking – that’s not pagan behavior. A high artificial standard was put up, unless you have this experience of the water of the Spirit washing over you.
The focus on human responsibility in seeking, may not have been healthy.
Yet, in context…
South Africa: “We are the most Christian nation in the world…” yet the world boycotts you because of your unrighteousness. Their armies had an official mandated quiet time.
Triumphalism is always a problem. We try to build heaven on earth. Uniformitarianism.
An idea must be thrust into the system with force and human effort – yet it causes it to go too far.
1801 – 20,000 went to 5 day long communion services (Presbyterian), to Kentucky (largest city is 2000, Lexington), to these Methodist revival services. Want to take the gospel to the common people. Cain Ridge revivals.
Lots of phenomena. Moody and others expurgiate all elements of Holy Spirit activity.
Baxter, all to his home. 8-9 families at a time, everyone comes, person interviews on how well do they understand salvation. How about the kids.
It worked there. For our day, we’ve said that small groups will do it, but we’re starting to see its not working.
The focus on too much human responsibility will kill us.