But the story of Evangelicalism in the last thirty years is not all bad news. One of the encouraging features of the Evangelical scene in the UK has been the recovery of the Reformed faith. Amongst other factors, the resurgence was heralded by the writings of A. W. Pink, the preaching of D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, the theological teaching of John Murray, and publications of the Banner of Truth Trust .
We are now well into a second generation of Reformed preachers and churches who did not come under the direct influence of the likes of Lloyd-Jones. There are presently literally hundreds if not thousands of Reformed preachers and congregations in the UK, not to mention the widespread recovery of the doctrines of grace in the States. Reformed Christianity is now a well established part of the Christian landscape in Great Britain, with many conferences, publishers and movements seeking to strengthen the cause.
For the first generation engaged in the recovery of Reformed theology there was the excitement and joy of new discovery. Now we are seeing men and women who have been involved in Reformed churches for the whole of their Christian lives. The present generation needs to appreciate afresh the sheer wonder and grandeur of the Reformed vision of the Triune God of sovereign grace. But theological recovery is not enough. Calvinistic doctrine is of little use if it does not lead to its proponents living vibrant godly Christian lives that adorn the truth as it is in Jesus.
It is often suggested that Calvinism has a stultifying effect on the evangelistic effort of the churches. But out of love for the lost and zeal for the glory of God in the salvation of the sinners, many Reformed churches are giving fresh emphasis to evangelism, and church planting. As well as traditional means of outreach like door-to-door work, literature distribution, open air preaching, and special evangelistic services, in recent years, many churches have run courses like Christianity Explored. We need to pray that the Lord will make these activities effective in the salvation of many in our day.
We have reflected on the recent history of Evangelicalism. Does Evangelicalism have a future? Only in so far as it holds to the evangel revealed in Holy Scripture that was recovered at the Reformation. The triune God of the Gospel is still mighty to save sinners and revive his work in our time. Ultimately the future of Evangelicalism is in God's hands. "Revive your work, O Lord in the midst of the years!"