Long time readers will recall that Francis Schaeffer is one of my favorite writers, one whose thought has influenced my own in various ways. One of the remarkable things about Schaeffer is the fact that he was so far ahead of his time in terms of Christian interaction with and understanding of the culture. The same can be said of his analysis of the Church. These words, written nearly forty years ago, remain prescient today:
“At times men think of the two words, reformation and revival, as standing in contrast one to the other, but this is a mistake. Both words are related to the word restore.
Reformation refers to a restoration to pure doctrine; revival refers to a restoration in the Christian’s life. Reformation speaks of a return to the teachings of Scripture; revival speaks of a life brought into its proper relationship to the Holy Spirit.
The great moments of church history have come when these two restorations have simultaneously come into action so that the church has returned to pure doctrine and the lives of the Christians in the church have known the power of the Holy Spirit. There cannot be true revival unless there has been reformation; and reformation is not complete without revival.
Such a combination of reformation and revival would be revolutionary in our day – revolutionary in our individual lives as Christians, revolutionary not only in reference to the liberal church but constructively revolutionary in the evangelical, orthodox church as well.”
— Francis Schaeffer, Death in the City, 12