Jesus Revolution: How God Transformed an Unlikely Generation and How He Can Do It Again Today
By Greg Laurie and Ellen Vaughn
As a kid, I never had much interest in history. Maybe I was young, naïve and simply not interested, or perhaps I was too ignorant and self-absorbed to consider anything other than the present. Whatever it was that numbed my ears and made my eyes glaze over years ago, has been removed and replaced with a deep fascination with history.
Ironically, I discovered I enjoyed learning about history when I realized I was a part of HIS [larger] story.
So when Baker Books sent me Jesus Revolution: How God Transformed an Unlikely Generation and How He Can Do It Again Today by Greg Laurie and Ellen Vaughn, I was excited to dive in and dig through the historical inspiration of the 1960s-1970s Jesus movement.
I wasn’t alive during that time period and truthfully I hadn’t had much knowledge about the Jesus revolution of that time period other than the fact that Billy Graham was a part of it. (I found it quite fitting that this book was released shortly after the death of the world-renowned pastor.)
The jist is that God has never and will never shy away from reaching the outcasts, heathens, and least of these in order to make His name, presence and influence known. Just like Jesus saved the tax collectors and prostitutes of the biblical era, He also saved the drug-induced, free-loving hippies of the ‘60s and ‘70s. While the Christians of those decades positively impacted culture and produced some of today’s largest churches and mega-pastors, the active revival has since become a faint memory of the good ol’ days as current culture has reverted back to its human ways.
This is not a new trend or development. In fact, throughout biblical history we see patterns of God’s people coming to faith and fully submitting their lives and trust over to God but eventually their spiritual high fades away and the brokenness of this world cracks even the strongest of souls. Jesus Revolution recounts the vibe of 1960s and ‘70s America and relates that time period to today’s current culture of self-obsessed, gender-confused, sex-driven, racially-divided seculars who have many of the same agendas today that corrupted our nation’s core values of yesteryear. It encourages us that God can save the lost souls of this world and not just revive but also restore humanity back into a relationship with our Savior, God’s Son, Jesus Christ.
In Jesus Revolution, authors Greg Laurie and Ellen Vaughn use humor and raw reality to inspire present-day Jesus followers to carry their crosses on Spirit-led paths to pave a way for the next generation of spiritual revival.
This book will give you confidence to:
- Seek Jesus first, trust in God’s plan and timing, and allow for the Spirit to move. The Jesus revolution was impactful on culture because it wasn’t centered on individual people but rather was focused solely on Jesus and His teachings.
- Remove all barriers of religion and establish a relationship with Jesus. Christianity is Bible-based living through an on-going, intentional, purposeful relationship with Jesus Christ. In other words, grace-based living versus a long list of rules or “thou shall nots.” I like to think of it as a “religion is out and relationship is in”type of mentality.
- Become born again or reflect on your current walk with Jesus. Again, it all goes back to relationship but also authentic intentionality in pursuing that relationship. Followers of Christ must be continually sanctified by the power of the Holy Spirit positively shaping their life. Even if we have Jesus in our life, we will still fall short and mess up. However, through God’s grace and mercy we will be pieced back together until we are fully restored into God’s original masterpiece ( Ephesians 2:10).
- Emphasize the impact of discipleship. A large reason the Jesus movement was a revival in America was because the individuals of that time were evangelizing the Good News along with a personal relationship with the Savior in a world that was lost, divisive and completely empty. The hippies were looking for something, anything, to fill them up and satisfy their desires for more, whatever more they felt they needed varied per the individual, but the result was always the same – they kept feeling more and more empty. Finding Jesus was the medicine the hippies needed to become well and thrive in their new counter-cultural lifestyle of living for their Savior. This is very much like what we experience today. Can you even imagine what America would look like if Christians actually stepped up and stepped out with Christ? It would be the perfect anecdote to all of the hatred and destruction we are experiencing every day. How easily we forget the simplicity of a life for Jesus…it is an all-inclusive, interracial, multi-ethnic way of life that is full of grace.
After reading Jesus Revolution, I feel revived in my personal walk with the Lord as well as inspired to disciple within my local church (ekklesia). It is said over and over again in this book that the “Coming to Jesus” movement of the ‘60s and ‘70s became a revolution because of the deepest desire of those to feel and experience something.
The hippies were looking for a high but kept feeling low. Oh how I can relate to those emotions of feeling lost, alone and empty and how finding Jesus, and experiencing Jesus in day-to-day living has refreshed and refilled my soul in ways I find hard to explain. If only we can disciple and dedicate our lives to helping others experience Jesus, too, I truly believe the world would be a better place.
“God grants revival. He grants it to those who have a certain desperate hunger for Him. Only out of self-despair – a helpless understanding of the reality of sin and one’s absolute inability to cure it – does anyone ever turn wholeheartedly to God. That desperation is sometimes hard to come by in America, because it is the opposite of self-sufficiency. In the US, many of us live under the illusion that our needs are already met, that maybe God is an add-on to our already comfortable existence… … People don’t tend to seek God when they are comfortable. Pain and suffering amplify the sound of God’s voice; we can become deaf to His call in times when life is easy. Our hearts can close tight, sealed by a heavy, rusty door.”Jesus Revolution, pages 232-233