Dr. Timothy Beougher of Southern Seminary offers the following helpful distinctions with regards to the issue of a Theology of Revival:
B. Is there a distinction between revival and awakening?
RENEWAL: When God touches the heart of a single individual
REVIVAL: When God touches a community of faith*
AWAKENING: When the wider society is impacted
*Re-vival – to vive someone again. I think the above distinctions are very important. You can read about this all in the handout at said link. You can also hear a message from him there on said topic.
~ I have in mind something else. An odd thinking exercise.
(1) Suppose the only group of people who existed right now on our planet were people who were members of the Church. I am talking about genuine believers. Yet these believers were somewhat weak in terms of their spiritually. If a revival took place could we say that this was a work of the triune God ad intra?
(2) On the flip side suppose that things are as they are now in the world – Christians and non-Christians. If a revival took place in the church and then spilled out into the greater society, then could we say that this was a work of the triune God ad intra that then progressed into a work ad extra?
Just a thinking exercise.