By the end of the book the reader will admit that insider movements involve many thousands who are discovering and being dramatically changed by Jesus, yet who have been misunderstood by many across the global church today. Let’s remember that Jonathan Edwards, who was a great preacher and exponent of the Great Awakening in America, had his detractors. In spite of the transformation in the religious landscape of the colonies, Edwards, Whitfield and the Wesleys had skeptics who questioned the validity or genuineness of their movement. Edwards had to explain and defend this awakening in two famous publications, A Treatise on Religious Affections and The Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God. He was still addressing this concern in his commencement address at Yale University, Sept. 10, 1741. In these works, Edwards showed that a genuine movement of God will manifest many surprising things which in themselves do not discredit the movement. If they are not of God, they will pass away. But he warned his readers and listeners not to commit the unpardonable sin of attributing this work of the Spirit to the Devil. He asked if it is not pride, or the lack of spiritual vitality, that causes the critics to assail this movement. In the same vein, any of us who are quick to criticize these emerging insider movements, or these Jesus followers in such different contexts, would do well to think on Edward’s words. And I commend this book to you in the same spirit.
Sunday, February 21, 2016
by Warrick Farah