Baseball and Revival

“Revival is an infusion of new spiritual life imparted by the Holy Spirit to existing parts of Christ’s body.” -Richard Lovelace

In an interview with in 1999 Richard Lovelace mentioned four aspects of renewal, symbolized by a baseball diamond.

“The Wesleyan quadrilateral, which is like a baseball diamond, has Scripture as its home plate. The first base is tradition. The second base is reason, and the third base is experience. According to Albert Outler in John Wesley, you had to run around that diamond and keep coming back to Scripture. So, it starts with Scripture, followed by tradition, which is orthodox theology. Then reason, that is applying things to what we know now, and experience—that’s the impact of the Holy Spirit in your life. Finally, you come back to Scripture.

Evangelicals are very strong on Scripture, tradition, and reason. Charismatics and Pentecostals have been real strong on experience, to some degree also on Scripture. They have not been at all involved deeply in tradition, and sometimes don’t make enough use of reason. But what I see coming is a balance of all of this.”

Richard F. Lovelace (Th. D., Princeton), professor emeritus of church history at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, is the author of Homosexuality and the Church,The American Pietism of Cotton Mather, Dynamics of Spiritual Life, and Renewal as A Way of life.