Monday, August 3, 2009

'The Welsh Revivals'

I like finding references to the Baptism of the Holy Spirit that pre-date Dr Martyn Lloyd Jones. This term has become something of a bogey amongst conservative evangelicals - a phrase not to be aligned with at the risk of being identified with serious error. But there is a great danger of throwing 'the baby out with the bathwater'. Just ask yourself, do we or do we not need the Holy Spirit? And by how much? What Dr Lloyd Jones meant was far different from the cheap 'second blessing' insisted upon by charismatics who claim its evidence is some fleshly manifestation like 'speaking in tongues' or being 'slain in the spirit', without which it is not possible to call yourself a Christian(!).
Dr Lloyd Jones was linking with a rich historic vein of theology. For example, I've recently been reading eye-witness accounts of the 1859 revival, by Evan Davies, where it is said of a congregation in Merthyr that, 'All appeared to be baptized with the Holy Ghost and with fire' (p31). It struck me that this Welsh term, bedydd tân, meaning baptism of fire, was one I have heard before somewhere...

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