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Discover Australia’s Great Awakenings in ‘Great Southland Revival’

Kurt and Warwick’s new book on Australian revivals is due for release later this month.

Australia is a nation forged in the furnace of revival. After taking a year to research Australia’s spiritual awakenings, this is the inescapable conclusion we have come to.

Warwick and I are excited to introduce our newest book, Great Southland Revival: Tracing the Spirit’s Flame from Acts to Australia, to be released later this month.

According to popular mythology, Australia has never experienced revival. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In Great Southland Revival, Warwick and I provide the most definitive catalogue of Australian revivals ever compiled. Our purpose has been to trace these awakenings in an unbroken chain back to their source in the book of Acts.

The first half of the book provides a fast-paced overview of the major revivals that Christianised the Middle East, Europe and America. In the second half, we trace the Spirit’s flame from the northern hemisphere to the South Seas and explore the role that revival has played in forging the nation of Australia.

Recovering Australia’s Spirit-Filled History

Great Southland Revival is a work of history — and our hope is to connect many Australian believers to their nation’s exciting Christian history. And yet our aim has been to write a story: a fast-paced, readable account of God’s faithfulness through the ages. From our blurb:

Long forgotten, Australia’s Spirit-filled history comes to life in Great Southland Revival. Discover how the flame of Pentecost spread from the book of Acts all the way to the South Pacific. Journey on convict ships and city trams, to goldfields, outback communities and far-flung islands transformed by the gospel. Most of all, be inspired that God longs to revive the church, sweep multitudes into His kingdom, and renew our world once again.

Some Christians are hesitant about the notion of revival. It’s true that in some ‘revivals’, emotions are stirred up, churches have a feel-good experience, things are taken to excess — and little real fruit results.

Such concerns are valid. In Great Southland Revival, our interest is not in ‘emotion-fests’, but in revivals that impact the world around us.

When God visits us in authentic revival, He does more than change the contours of His church. He transforms the landscape of entire nations. This is what led Archibald Mackray, a Sydney preacher, to call revivals “those great periodical Religious movements which form the chief landmarks of history”. [1]

The 18th-century evangelicals likewise believed that “revival is the engine of history, the most powerful gift of God for… the renovation or reform of human society”. [2]

If this is true of any nation, it is certainly true of Australia.

Like a Bushfire in the Outback

Christians have often used the language of fire to describe revival — and for good reason. Even the most cursory glance at church history shows us that when the Holy Spirit envelops a community in revival, the dross and rubbish is consumed, and new spiritual life springs forth.

Like a bushfire in the outback, revival transforms a landscape. It strips away all that has accumulated in the lives of God’s people that hinders us and holds us back. It exposes the pre-eminent and timeless purposes of God. And in time, a revival germinates new spiritual landscapes whose legacy is enjoyed for generations to come.

We cannot promise that Great Southland Revival covers every move of God that has taken place on Australian soil. But in these pages is more than enough evidence that Australia is a land of frequent, dramatic and inspiring revivals that still await the rediscovery of most of its inhabitants.

By tracing the path these spiritual fires have travelled — from the earliest days of the church right up to our own recent history — our hope is that we might just rekindle them.

Stay tuned for how to order your copy of Great Southland Revival.



[1] Archibald N. Mackray, Revivals of Religion: Their Place and Power in the Christian Church (Sydney: John L. Sheriff, Publisher, 1870), 30.

[2] Stuart Piggin, Firestorm of the Lord: The History of and Prospects for Revival in the Church and the World (England: Paternoster Press, 2000), 3.


Originally published on The Daily Declaration.



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