Tuesday, June 16, 2009

MY PERSONAL FAVORITES

I've posted nearly two hundred times on my VTM blog. Some have been pretty good and others have been otherwise. Some I might think of as my personal favorites and I'm going to repost a few of those in the next couple of weeks. Let's see what you think.
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Here's the first one... I'm not into name dropping...but here I go.

T.W. Hunt. That name is well known in Baptist life. I know that name well. I know the man who wears that name. He wears it well. Laverne. Another name. That's the woman married to the man who wears the name T.W. Hunt. She's as fine a human being as he is...maybe better...as most husbands in saner moments will confess of their own particular wife. T.W. does. So do I.

The reason I know T.W. and Laverne is because I was privilaged to be their pastor for several years of his tenure as a Professor at SWBTS when they were members of and I was Pastor of the Southcliff Baptist Church in Ft. Worth. Laverne still calls me "Pastor." She always told me she thought I was the best preacher she had ever heard. I told her I thought she was the smartest person I had ever met. Just kidding. [She said that..but I think she says it to all her Pastors.]

The purpose of my dropping T.W.'s name today is to give a final small follow-up on my post addressing worship. But before I do, I want to press the envelope personally and tell you of one of the more significant spiritual moments in my life that involves T.W. Hunt. It really is personal and I do not wish to diminish it for anything....in fact....I've just changed my mind..... Maybe some other time.

But the follow-up has to do with a morning I sat with T.W. in a Dairy Queen in Ft. Worth. He and I were eating ice-cream and talking. [Who says you can't eat ice cream in the morning?] Before long I was writing on a napkin. It usually wound up that way. Something he would be saying was always of the nature that I must not forget it. So....write it down I did.

T.W. said that he was a student of revival. He had, in fact, studied every known revival in history beginning with the Old Testament events going right through Acts and into the Awakenings, as well as the "Charismatic revival, as it was being called in that day in which we were living and conversing.

T.W. said that every genuine move of God that he had studied had produced it's own music. The new music of those moves of God were new, not just in lyrics, but in meter, rythmn, notations, and a whole bunch of other stuff that didn't then and doesn't now mean much to me. But I kept listening.

He said that those involved in the revivals usually wrote and produced this "new music". His example was Charles and John Wesley. He reminded me of the many songs written by the Wesleys during that Great Awakening of which they were such a major part. "The Church's One Foundation" was one of those.

T.W. said there were several odd things about the music being produced during each revival. For one thing, it was not only different, it was rejected by the religious establishment. Wesley sang his songs with the crowds on hillsides but was not permitted to do so in the churches. He was shunned.

Then, T.W. said, after a while, the religious powers that were, gradually accepted the music, by now being sung by the masses. Finally, that music was "the music" and was "the music" until another revival came along producing it's own music which was rejected as ungodly by those singing "The Church's One Foundation" and, again, the new was not permitted in the churches. So, again, the masses had to sing in isolation from the religious establishment.

You see the pattern I'm sure. That's why, according to T.W. Hunt, the Charismatic movement was in his opinion, while not agreeing with it's theological excesses at all, a real movement of God. The music evidenced it.

I finished writing. He'd finished talking. We finished our ice-cream. But I've never forgotten that day and what he had said. I wrote it down remember. I think time has shown the validity of that view of the history of revival. Look at the music we're singing now. I wonder where revival will happen next? I know it will have it's own music. I know some won't like it. For a while anyway.

Paul B

10 comments:

Aussie John said...

Paul,

Not fair! You get to know all the interesting blokes (I s'pose you know that is Aussie for 'fellers').

Mention the word "revival" and you've got my attention. I've read as much, about the subject, as I could get my hands on during the last fourty years.

I'm assuming we are speaking about real spiritual revival as opposed to the fairly common religious revival we see.

It is my contention that it is the often because of the spiritual smugness, arrogance, and intransigence of the traditional church that revival movements happen as independent movements, and as a result, apart from some theological stability.

Of course, when the Holy Spirit awakens a nation, or whole communities, then no one escapes His influence, one way or another.

One scene of which I read is etched into my mind: The evening service closed. The congregation left, visibly affected by the simple reading of Scripture.

As the pastor left the church he heard sounds coming from the graveyard and, on investigation, found many parishioners on their knees crying out to God. He sought to counsel some, but they were oblivious to his presence. He walked on, and as far as he went he found more people on their knees along the side of the road.

What many who ask for revival don't realise, is that revival begins with repentant, broken hearts and humbled minds, amongst those who are Christians, and then flows amongst unbelievers.

Please Lord, for your glory, do it again!

Paul Burleson said...

Aussie John,

You are correct on your assumption and your contention IMHO.

Boy, your comment about that revival moment needs some follow-up words. Feel free if you would, to tell us about it on this comment section.

GuyMuse said...

T.W. Hunt was one of my favorite teachers at SWBTS. I was a church music major and loved his hymnology class. Even though I learned tons, and to this day hymnology is one of my hobbies, what I remember most about the class with Dr. Hunt was the amount of time spent in class PRAYING.

Sometimes 20-30 minutes of class time was spent praying. His example for taking everything to the Lord in prayer (sound like a hymn? It is! :) has impacted my prayer life to this very day.

Thanks for the reminder of this great saint amongst us.

Aussie John said...

Paul,

I have tried to find the exact quote re my previous comment but haven't been able (will continue looking), but here is an example of something similar happening on the Isle of Lewis in 1949:
'As the meeting was closing someone excitedly hurried to the preacher, "Come with me! There’s a crowd of people outside the police station; they are weeping and in great distress. We don’t know what’s wrong with them but they are calling for someone to come and pray with them."

The minister described the scene outside the police station; "I saw a sight I never thought possible. Something I shall never forget. Under a starlit sky, men and women were kneeling everywhere, by the roadside, outside the cottages, even behind the peat stacks, crying for God to have mercy on them."

"Nearly 600 people, making their way to the church, suddenly experienced the power of God falling upon them in great conviction, and like Paul on the road to Damascus, fell to their knees in repentance."

By the way, the happenings and God glorifying results of the Isle of Lewis revival are attested to by both Calvinist (except one prominent one) and Arminian pastors.

"The Hebrides revival was a manifestation of God! Something greater than organization, something more wonderful than simply a new approach to evangelism - this was God at work! God in action, independent of special personalities, but behind the irresistible power of God there was a "secret." One minister and seven members of his church, in a little wooden barn by the side of the road, who were prepared to stand in faith, praying and believing, and who got hold of God - that revival might come.

The quotes from "Bright and Shining Revival"- Kathie Walters

Paul Burleson said...

Aussie John,

The writings of Duncan Campbell about the Hebrides revival set my spirit soaring in my early years of ministry. I longed for a move of God without explanation oher than Himself. I do believe I saw and personally experienced a taste of that longing in the early seventies [1969-75] in Wichita Falls and in Borger Texas.

For whatever reason it has not been repeated to my own knowledge since then in the framework of my life and ministry. But the aroma of that time continues. I have no desire to go back to then but long for a fresh move without explanation except GOD. I since that hunger in you and some others. I'm glad.


Guy,

If I remember correctly, you were near the first to comment a couple of years ago on the original post. I'm not surprised you would again. No one ever gets over T.W. Hunt and his Lord.

One of these days I'll get the liberty to share that personal thing I mentioned and it will not surprise you at all. You know him. You'll just say, "Yep..that T.W."

Paul Burleson said...

Make that "sense." Thanks.

Aussie John said...

Paul,

I, too have had just such a "taste" of God moving sovereignly in people's lives,bringing them to salvation, but in ways which are not explainable by theological positions, formulas or doctrinal logic.

A congregation I served inexplicably doubled in a few weeks. Nothing done to attract people, nor had been changed. A deacon complained that there were too many new faces in the church, made his feelings very public, and the numbers started to dwindle.

My burning desire for more has never left me, because no one else but He receives the glory. No guilt inducing sermon, no arm twisting, no coercion by fear, simply the working of the Holy Spirit.

I simply cannot accept the statement of a Reformed Baptist pastor to the congregation where I had preached, "God doen't work that way anymore!"

Have you read "Sounds from Heaven" by Colin and Mary Peckham. It contains eye witness accounts of the Hebrides revival during which time Mary came to Christ.

Paul Burleson said...

Aussie John,

"Amen" and "Oh my" to every word written.

Aussie John said...

Paul,

Are you sure your name isn't Barnabus?

Bobby Brown said...

When Aussie John asks "please Lord do it again for your glory" it is the same thing as saying for your names sake. Better watch out prayers like that are likely to get answered because God is concerned about His name.