Friday, 23 October 2009

Glory in the Glen by Tom Lennie

The reality of spiritual revival is one that interests most Christians, including those in Scotland. One possible common feature of their interest is the assumption that very little spiritual revival has happened in Scotland since 1859 apart from the one on the island of Lewis in 1949. This assumption will disappear once Glory in the Glen by Tom Lennie is read as it describes in detail many revivals that occurred in Scotland between 1880 and 1940. Virtually every area of the country was affected at one time or another during these decades, with some areas, such as the Western Isles, experiencing several revival periods. And this book does not record all that took place during that time.

The obvious question that comes to mind is why such revivals no longer seem to take place. No doubt there have been local movements of the Spirit here and there, but we seem to have entered a long period without them taking place in a significant way. Often the escape route that is used is to put it all down to the sovereignty of God, which of course is true, although at one level such a response may be an attempt not to face the possibility that God, in his sovereignty, is judging his church for its failure to engage in meaningful prayer for spiritual revival.

In any case, reading this well-researched book should stimulate prayer for the God of revivals to once again come in widespread power into our communities. It would be possible to read the book with a red pen and stroke out every revival we don’t like, but such a response would miss an important point, which is that God often uses unlikely people as his servants when he chooses to advance his cause. If reading this book was to help create many praying churches and groups in Scotland, then we could begin to look forward to a revived church all around us before we go very far into the twenty-first century.

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