Nathan A. Finn

Historian, Theologian, Teacher, Preacher



February 2013



How Satan Attacks Revival

Written by , Posted in History, Ministry, Theology

A good deal of the church’s history becomes somewhat more intelligible if biblical principles for the discernment of spirits are employed. They must be applied with exquisite caution. But some rather tumultuous periods of renewal, counterinfiltration [sic] and counterattack can only be sensible interpreted with their use. Otherwise the scene is as confusing as a football game in which half the players are invisible.

Jonathan Edwards sets down a foundational principle for understanding the interior and exterior problems of revival movements: revivals of religion are advances in the progress of the kingdom of God which inevitable occasion counter-movements on the part of the powers of darkness. Periods of renewal are therefore times of vigorous activity both among agents of God and agents of darkness….

The strategy of darkness against revival is threefold: (1) to destroy the work either by persecution or by accusation which will discredit it and limit its growth, (2) to infiltrate the work and reinforce its defects in order to provide more evidence for accusation, and (3) to inspire counterfeit revival which may deceive the elect and further confuse and alienate the onlooking world.

From Richard Lovelace, Dynamics of Spiritual Life: An Evangelical Theology of Renewal (IVP, 1979), p. 256-57. Note that the image is of the current edition. I’m not sure if the pagination is the same.