I used to hear the song, "Give me that old timed religion" and think of a 90 year old woman with spectacles hanging off her nose and a yardstick in her hand ready to give some unfortunate 5-year old a Holy Ghost whoopping. I think it interesting that our generation often thinks of old-fashioned in negative terms whereas, for nearly all of human history (and as it still is in the vast majority of the world living outside the West), the concept of old is identified with wisdom, not archaism.
It could be that I am just a sentimental person, but I rather miss the concept of the old-fashioned revival. More specifically, I miss a lot of the old-fashioned faith teaching that is simply out of vogue in today's contemporary seeker sensitive style of doing church (even charismatic churches). For the past year, I have been on a mental overhaul thinking about how the Christian faith relates to the geo-social-political issues of our time, (more specifically, how the Christian faith (especially American fundamentalist Christian faith) impacts Western civilization and what this means for the current clash of civilizations between the West and Islam. In the process of this contemplation, I have rejected a lot of the militarism (in particular as it relates to expanding American hegemony in world affairs) associated with the particular brand of Christianity that I grew up in (and am currently a part of now). In my upcoming book, "Reformation" I will explain this in more detail.
None of these considerations mattered yesterday as I was sitting in an old-fashioned revival meeting listening to a message about how Jesus defeated the Devil through the power of speaking God's Word. "You can't out think the devil, but you can out talk him," said the preacher. Amen to that! Although I flat reject some of the preacher's other ideas that he preached the previous nights (like bombing other countries for the purpose of opening them up to the gospel), I found it unusually refreshing to be reminded that when the devil is on my back, I can give him a good old-fashioned whooping by using the sword of God's Word against him.
When the preacher was finished, I practically ran down the altar to get my overdose of the Holy Ghost....and to get the devil off my back. Look out devil, I'm armed and dangerous now! You'll be hearing a lot of "No weapon formed against me shall prosper" from me from now on. Better get used to it.