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On Being Anointed and the Great Awakening Essay

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Why do we need another Great awakening? When I think of an Awakening, even after our class, my mind immediately goes to images of eighteenth century revivalists like Jonathan Edwards, George Whitfield, Jereena Lee and a large constellation of other preaching giants of yesteryear. These men and women created a legacy of spiritual fervor which has earned them a place in the annals of American religious history. Their effectiveness as preachers of the word and proclaimers of truth permeated a nation’s consciousness and snatched the nation from spiritual decline.
Several questions arise as I think of the Awakenings of years past. My first question is whether our nation is as spiritually receptive of an Awakening as it was two hundred years
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Perhaps that is what we need a contemporary awakening to do. In the face of drone strikes, unending poverty, mass-incarceration, and myriad social issues with spiritual ramifications, an Awakening is what is needed to turn this nation, its culture and its people around. I think there needs to be a turning to a moral center; be it God (thinking out of my Christian context), or to a common place of civility and mutual understanding. The church has a unique role to play in bringing renewal and restoration to the brokenness of the world. I think that the mission the broken, crucified, despised Jesus was and is healing brokenness. Jesus Christ was “anointed” to do the work of restoring a sick and sad nation. I, therefore, hold as my point of departure that in Jesus Christ we are anointed to preach in a way that will awaken the nation to wholeness and to the reality of God’s reign on Earth. In light of my theme, this paper hopes to accomplish three goals. My first goal is to reflect on the calling forth of bold, brave, and anointed preachers in James A. Forbes’ book The Holy Spirit and Preaching. Second, I will explore the preaching ministry of Howard Washington Thurman who, I think, exemplifies what it means to operate in the anointing of Christ. Finally, I will take these considerations about the Holy Spirit and Howard Thurman, and reflect on my own preaching ministry, which nears eleven
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