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Asbury Revival

5 Takeaways From The So-Called Asbury Revival

The only reason to entertain the notion of the Asbury Revival is because we know that God chooses unlikely means for His glory. What unlikelier place could a “revival” spring than a theologically liberal mainline seminary in Kentucky. God does the saving not man, so I do no doubt that people have been genuinely saved through this event, as opposed to by the event. However, we must also acknowledged that people have also been led astray by this same event. At the same time revival is not a biblical category, its a term we use because American church history has events like the 1st Great Awakening in which many were saved in a short period of time and that the culture was radically shifted by the preaching and heeding of God’s word. We are revived by the Holy Spirit. Testing the spirits and using discernment is a necessity for the church to practice and safeguard against threats. So what threat does the Asbury Revival pose if any, or is it just a contrived marketing gimmick for a Seminary? Here are five takeaways.

1. This event is not an organic student led event.

The Asbury Revival has branded itself as a student led an organized event, but this claim doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. This claim is used to make it seem as though, this was impromptu, but Asbury Theological Seminary has a history of “revivals” all of which occurred in February or March. This is conveniently early in the spring semester of college. Nevertheless, the faulty of Asbury Theological Seminary have been facilitating the event the entire time, including coming up with the exit strategy.

So an event completely lead by the Holy Spirit has an exit strategy? Even more bizarre is what the exit strategy is. The Collegiate Day of Prayer is throwing the grand finale at Asbury Theological Seminary. They intend to bring in heavy hitters like Rick Warren, Francis Chan, and the International House of Prayer (NAR).

2. Not A Spectacle, Until It Is

Tucker Carlson asked to send camera crews to cover the event and was declined. The reason being is that they didn’t want the outside media to turn the event into a spectacle. Seems legit, but Francis Chan, Rick Warren, and NARpostles are completely welcome to turn the event into a spectacle.

The exit strategy of the Asbury Revival is not of the Holy Spirit, but rather a purpose driven contrivance.

3. Not Characterized By The Strong Preaching

This event is largely characterized by its corporate worship experience and the sharing of personal testimonies. These two things aren’t bad in and of themselves, but it’s clear that hyperemotionalism is at play. There’s an ability that live music has to connect with the audience, religious or not, and many conflate the euphoria of live music with the Holy Spirit.

Additionally, the influence of Charles Finney on the church is undergirding our expectations of a profound conversion experience as evidence of faith, which while present, has never been an expectation for believers throughout most of church history. This event is, no doubt influenced heavily by Finney.

4. Many view this as a replacement for Church.

The Asbury Revival is taking place at a chapel on the campus of a theologically liberal seminary, not in a local church. They aren’t breaking for people to attend church, rather they press on. Moreover, the revival tourism that has emerged is largely people chasing an experience, one that they lack in their own lives or church.

The truth is that we should experience the Holy Spirit in our own lives because as Christians, the Holy Spirit indwells us. As previously mentioned, people get euphoric hearing live music and many confuse this with the Holy Spirit. Just look at Hillsong and Bethel. But the Holy Spirit isn’t dopamine. It’s so much more.

And what happens every Sunday at the myriad of faithful churches is far more profound than what is occurring in Asbury right now.

5. Despite history of revivals, Asbury Theological Seminary doesn’t repent

Asbury’s revivals have not caused the seminary to repent of its heresy, most notably in this case its feminism and affirming of homosexuality, both of which are playing a role in the current festivities.

Asbury is Methodist, and Methodists have long ordained women as pastors in direct defiance of Scripture. 

While many point to Asbury’s statement on sexual ethics, it’s exceedingly clear that the seminary enrolls homosexuals who openly identify as such. Asbury Theological Seminary is Side B in practice, which redefines sin. Therefore, they are compromised on this issue.

Is this going to change following a revival there? Not if it’s contrived. That’s for sure.


We mustn’t discount the power of the Holy Spirit, but we cannot contrive it either.

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One Response

  1. The revival is at Asbury University , not the Seminary. They are separate schools across the street from one another. I live in Wilmore and I follow your site and really like it. I agree with your statement of faith. I am not a Methodist or Wesleyan. It has not been easy living in a town of
    holiness to perfection, but I attended the revival one night and what I saw seemed very sincere and God honoring. I have heard some christian celebs were here but none took the stage. It was student led with the gospel given and calls to repent. The seminary opened their chapels for overflow and had a screen to view what was going on at the University. Several churches in town opened for the same thing. I think you are a person who does their homework. I’m not sure you did enough this time.
    Linda Goepper
    Wilmore, KY

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