Why Revival Tarries
By Leonard Ravenhill
Bethany House Publishers
“The book that shaped me probably more dramatically than any other book that I have read…” — Ravi Zacharias
There are a number of similes that come to mind when I think about this book. It is like being doused with ice water to awake from a deep sleep in a nice cozy bed. Or perhaps it is like being knocked in the head by a steel beam that you didn’t happen to notice. Whatever the comparison, it hurts. The good news is that after you stop cringing from the pain, and get over being insulted, you realize that you really needed the rebuke. At least that’s how I felt when I read Why Revival Tarries.
I remember hearing tapes of Leonard Ravenhill when I was a young lad. His works have impacted many Christians. I must say, however, that there is a whole new generation of young adults who have never been exposed to his teachings. We need to rediscover this man’s insights.
It is surprising to think that Bro. Ravenhill spoke so strongly to the lazy and self-absorbed church in the late 1950s. While I’m sure he was right in his assessment of the church’s spiritual atrophy, I can only imagine how he would feel if he could see us now.
Bro. Ravenhill cries loud and spares not, in the style of the Biblical prophet, as he challenges those who “are at ease in Zion.” Far from leaving us hopeless without a remedy, the author calls us back to holiness, consecration to the Lord, separation from the world and a life of devoted, powerful and effective prayer.
One reassuring aspect of the book is that you get the distinct impression that you aren’t being called to a standard that the author himself refuses to abide by. You are led to strongly believe that Bro. Ravenhill was speaking straight from his heart. The book is noticeably absent of the self-promotion and demographic-study-give-the-public-what-they-want-to-hear-syndrome that has invaded much of the Christian publishing world. It is so politically incorrect that it really is refreshing in that sense. It is hard to live on a steady diet of writings that are so devoid of conviction that they couldn’t offend someone if they tried.
The fact is, the cross of Christ has always been an offense to our flesh, and it always will be. If we truly want revival, if we desire to be the true Church of Jesus Christ, we need to take a hard look at what we are holding onto that hinders us. This is a book that I would recommend, but only to a reader who truly wants to change. If you are happy where you are in your spiritual life, I’d suggest that you skip this one. It will only offend you.
On a scale of 1-5, I’d give this a 4 overall.