Wilmore, Kentucky, is the kind of quaint town (population 6,027) you might drive through and forget. Perhaps if you stop at the intersection of Main Street and Lexington Avenue you may notice a white Presbyterian chapel and a redbrick Baptist church on opposite corners — reminders of a bygone era when America was staunchly Christian.
Maybe someone should tell The Economist that those churches are not museums devoted to “a bygone era” — people today actually attend them.
If you’re going to read only one piece about the Asbury revival, make it this one by Ruth Graham. (I won’t let the fact that Ruth was once my student prevent me from saying that she’s the best religion reporter in this country, and it’s not close.)
I don’t have anything further to say about this event, though. Whether this is a genuine fruit-bearing revival is something that can’t be discerned now, and perhaps won’t ever be discernible. As George Eliot teaches us in the famous concluding words of Middlemarch, we don’t really understand the causes of the changes in our lives: sometimes the most important influences, and the most important people, work in ways too subtle for us to perceive. Maybe — and please, Lord, let it be so — this will be a great revival with lasting effects; but we’re unlikely to know what those effects are or how they have shaped people’s hearts. God works in a mysterious way His wonders to perform.