The “good old days”?
The olden days feature in this issue. Some may wish to label Peter Brain’s article as a product of the “sentimental generation”. John Yates article maybe might be regarded as antiquarian by some.
These articles remind us of the problem of what happens a generation or so after the “good old days”. Or after a big revival. Both Methodism and Pentecostalism can be see as heirs of the eighteenth century revival. Nowadays neither look like the kind of religious communities overseen by Whitfield and Wesley.
We rightly praise God for the remarkable growth of the church in Africa, Asia and South America. But what will sustain the present life of those churches to the grand children and great grandchildren of today’s saints?
Forms continue but hearts change. Ideas and doctrines change slowly, as much under the power of the culture as under the power of the Word and Spirit.
Pauline Dixon, Ben Underwood and others in this issue help us apply our minds to questions and issues of our generation. But making these days the “good old days” for the next generation also means doing the inner things that each “good generation” has done before.
Knowing God deeply. Living by the Spirit. Following Christ. Hearing God’s word. Doing what God has said. Having fellowship with the Father and the Son and those who belong to the Son. Taking time to call out to God. Having our minds transformed.
Our days should also become the “good old days” if we pass on not just form and ideas, but the secrets of how hearts grow to know and love God: “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”