By Editorial Staff
Published April 10, 2008
This special issue of The Boston Awakening has been produced as a gift to the students of Boston, Massachusetts. The publishers are the Boston Awakening team – a group of Christian students, community members and ministers – who have come together with the purpose of promoting a spiritual awakening among college students in the city of Boston.
The year 2006 marks the 370th anniversary of the first Christian college in North America, Harvard. Ever since 1636, the colleges and universities of Boston have set the standard for excellence in education that has been copied the world over. Yet most students don’t know that virtually all of Boston’s historic colleges and universities were founded as Christian institutions. Perhaps many believe that we are too sophisticated in the 21st century to celebrate or even acknowledge these roots.
However, there are some winds of change blowing across this almost 400-year-old city. One of these changes is a reawakening of Christianity. In 2006, there are a higher percentage of evangelical Christians studying in schools in the Boston area than at any other time since the Great Awakenings of the 18th and 19th centuries. In this special issue, we hope to answer some questions we have been asked:
Just what is a Spiritual Awakening?
Is it true that Christians once dominated the campus?
Are Awakenings going on in the nations of the world?
What trends indicate that this could happen again?
Some would argue that modern America has become too multi-cultural for a unified religious view. But an examination of current spiritual trends indicates the opposite. According to Jeff Bass, the executive director of the Emmanuel Gospel Center, documentation over the past 30 years shows that “most church growth is in minority communities. Ethnic cultures, especially Asian, Brazilian and Haitian, have started 90 percent of all new churches.” Further, American and international students who have been reared in an atmosphere of Christian culture account for a large part of this growth.
When we examine history, we find the same trend during the time of the Great Awakenings. Students came from other places to study at a New England college. These students encountered something they did not expect when they first began to inquire into spiritual experience.
As Charles Coffin, historian and native Bostonian, wrote in the preface to his history of New England, Old Times in the Colonies: “I have spoken of the meaning of history. Surely it has a meaning, what else are we living for? Whichever way we turn in the material world we find things needful for our use and we think of them as God’s forethoughts, and as designed for our welfare. If there is design in the material world, there must be some meaning to history, some ultimate end to be accomplished.”
History shows us that these spiritual awakenings are inevitable. The question is not if there will be another Great Awakening, but when. In time, there will be many more Christian media projects produced by students for students in Boston. When a movement of the magnitude of the 18th century Great Awakening occurs again in Boston, the students themselves will produce media that will carry the good news to the ends of the earth something that was not possible in any of the prior Great Awakenings.
Could it be time for another Great Awakening in Boston, starting with the 300,000 students on 45 college campuses? As you look into the idea of “meaning,” “purpose,” and “destiny,” our hope is that you will be open to the idea that perhaps God has called you to the city of Boston “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14).
- The Boston Awakening team
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Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.
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Who is the Real Jesus?
Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.
Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.
The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.
Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.
Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!
Running Time: 130 minutes
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Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
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Just what is Calvinism?
Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?
This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.
Running Time: 257 minutes
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“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
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