ISBN 9 780281 088034
This book is a cry of the heart for a fresh work of God in our nation. In this respect it is an antidote to all the bright ideas and plans that have fuelled the churches’ expectations and programmes in the last half-century. As the author notes:
“We are so keen to try anything and everything, except the ancient path of tears. We have ideas, creativity, blue-sky thinking, initiatives, fresh expressions …The list is endless and the outcomes negligible.”
I have been a Christian for 50 years; my hometown Lowestoft is marked as being the last place in mainland Britain to have a revival; that was over a century ago in 1921. A friend of mine wrote a book about that revival, which was entitled A Forgotten Revival. Ironically, this week I am picking up a box of documents he used for research in writing the book. So the topic of revival was in my mind as I read this book.
Saturated with God is a well-written book that mixes relating the stories of previous moves of God with reflections of biblical passages that use the image of water to describe God’s work, hence the title of the book. It’s a book well worth reading for its penetrating reminder to the contemporary Church to remember to be distinctively godly in thought and practice. We would all be better off if we sought God with all our hearts.
That is my main gripe with this and all books about revival. Revival itself can become the obsession that can distract us from seeking God for himself. Seeking God to fix what is wrong with the church and society can imply that we have no agency. It can foster a ‘waiting till the boat comes in’ attitude to change.
It is also fascinating to observe that the author’s main use of Scripture is from the Old Testament. Most books on revival tend to lean heavily on Old Testament texts; why is that? Is it because the modern idea of revival is not a New Testament preoccupation? For example, in the seven letters to the seven churches in the Book of Revelation, none of the churches in trouble are counselled to seek revival!
Nonetheless, a timely book to read for such a time as this.
John Woods is a writer and Bible teacher based in West Sussex. He is Director of Training at the School of Preachers in Riga, Latvia.