In 1994 six Evangelicals formed the George Whitefield Foundation. Their aim was to encourage study in the Netherlands of the Puritans and their theological successors.
They also aimed to stimulate a biblical understanding of, and earnest prayer for, true reformation and revival in Holland. Many contemporary movements are widely presented as ‘revival’ but do not match up to the biblical criteria.
A detailed knowledge of past revivals helps us to distinguish God-given revival from man-centred revivalism.
The Foundation highlights the vital contribution made by the dynamic Calvinism of the Puritans and the anointed ministries of preachers like George Whitefield and missionaries like William Carey.
This does not mean that the Foundation simply passes on what the Puritans taught, in a stereotyped way. We all need to apply the Puritans’ Bible-based methodology to today’s problems in a fresh way.
Many questions now pressing us are old problems in disguise. There are also new issues that must be thought through biblically, using first principles. The Puritan approach is vitally helpful.
The George Whitefield Foundation works in a number of ways. It produces a quarterly magazine (The George Whitefield Bulletin). It organises study conferences (it has been tremendously encouraging to see a spiritual unity developing in these conferences, which transcends denominational boundaries).
Last year an English-speaking conference drew 60 people to hear Iain Murray and Wim van Vlastuin speaking on revival.
Thirdly, it has a book-fund. There is a surprising lack of literature on Puritanism, revival, etc. in the libraries of our theological training institutes. The book-fund aims to supply them with such books (we gratefully acknowledge generous support from publishers like Banner of Truth and Evangelical Press).
We pray that our Lord will have mercy once more on our country; he has been pleased to bless it so much in the past. We invite all believers to join us in praying for this work.