Turning Points, chapter 13, Rise & Spread of Pentecostalism


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The Rise and Spread of Pentecostalism and the Charismatic Movement (1906, 1960) is a major turning point in Church History according to Mark Noll, author of "Turning Points".

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Turning Points, chapter 13, Rise & Spread of Pentecostalism

  1. 1. Rise & Spread of Pentecostalism Further Turning Points (20th Century) Decisive Moments in the History of ChristianityBrian M. Sandifer 1
  2. 2. Turning Points in Christian History1. Fall of Jerusalem (70)  English Act of Supremacy2. Council of Nicaea (325) (1534)3. Council of Chalcedon (451)  Founding of Jesuits (1540)4. Benedict’s Rule (530)  Conversion of Wesleys5. Coronation of Charlemagne (1738) (800)  French Revolution (1789)6. Great Schism (1054)  Edinburgh Missionary Conference (1910)7. Diet of Worms (1521)  Further Turning Points (1900s) 2
  3. 3. Majority Christianity at the Dawn of 20th Century** Joke alert 3
  4. 4. Majority Christianity at the Dawn of 21st Century** Joke alert 4
  5. 5. Emergence of Pentecostalism in the 20th Century Worldwide Christianity in 1900  (At most) a handful of Christians experiencing special gifts of the Holy Spirit alleged to be similar to those recorded in NT. Worldwide Christianity in 2000  (As many as) 500 million believers who could be identified as pentecostal or charismatic.  Pentecostal/charismatic believers numbered a fourth of all Christians worldwide!  Pentecostal movement continues its rapid worldwide growth. 5
  6. 6. The Beginning of Pentecostalism Roots: longing for revival, sanctification, outpouring of spirit  19th century American revival movements  American “Holiness” Movement around the turn of the 20th century; Methodism chasing Christian perfection and holiness  Scottish preacher Edward Irving (1792-1834) and others encouraged special spiritual gifts Kindling: Charles Fox Parham (1873-1929), founder of Bethel Bible College in Topeka, KS.  Parham studied Paul’s epistles and became convinced that apostolic gifts of the Holy Spirit are available to believers today. Spark: Azusa Street Revival 6
  7. 7. Roots: Longing for Revival Worldwide Revival tour of Reuben A. Torrey (1856-1928)  Beginning of 20th century  Linked together many who would later participate in the Pentecostal movement  Torrey would not become a pentecostal Revival in Wales (1903-1904)  Well-reported  Fanned further hope for a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit 7
  8. 8. Kindling: Charles Parham Raised in Methodist and Holiness churches Instructed his students that a baptism of “the Holy Ghost and fire” should be expected among believers who were going onward to perfect sanctification that Holiness advocates proclaimed. Particularly interested in “speaking in tongues”, which occurred for the first time in 1901 at Bethel Bible College. 8
  9. 9. What is “Speaking in Tongues” Pentecostal Style? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omy24KC3LzU 9
  10. 10. Spark: 1906 Azusa Street Revival, Los Angeles, CA Preacher: African-American William J. Seymour (1870-1922), a student of Parham, began a lengthy series of nightly “revival” meetings which lasted for months. Message: the living presence of the Holy Spirit could be experienced as a reality in our age. What happened: participants were “baptized in the Holy Ghost,” healed of illnesses, some spoke in tongues  Hence the name “pentecostal” referring to Pentecost and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the book of Acts. Result: thousands of believers from across the U.S. traveled to Azusa Street to carry the message and the 10
  11. 11. Contemporary Reports of Azusa Street Revival “Breathing strange utterances and mouthing a creed which it would seem no sane mortal could understand, the newest religious sect has started in Los Angeles.” * “Meetings are held in a tumble-down shack on Azusa Street, and the devotees of the weird doctrines practice the most fanatical rites, preach the wildest theories, and work themselves into a state of mad excitement in their particular zeal.” ** Los Angeles Times, April 18, 1906 11
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  13. 13. Pentecostal vs. Charismatic Pentecostal  Those Christians who are organized in churches/denominations with a distinct emphasis on the “sign” gifts of the Holy Spirit. Charismatic  Those Christians who practice these “sign” gifts within churches that do not formally endorse this understanding of the Holy Spirit’s work. Agreements and Differences  P’s & C’s generally united on their doctrine of the Holy Spirit and spiritual gifts.  P’s & C’s are both “evangelical” Christians (emphasize spiritual conversion, traditional orthodox beliefs).  P’s are generally more united in their doctrine, whereas C’s are as diverse as the rest of evangelical Christian traditions. 13
  14. 14. Do Pentecostals Resent Charismatics? 14
  15. 15. Where are the Pentecostals? North American Denominations/Churches  Assemblies of God  Church of God in Christ  Church of God of Prophecy  Foursquare Gospel Church  Pentecostal Church of Christ  Pentecostal Free Will Baptist Church  Vineyard Churches  Many, many other denominations  Independent “pentecostal” congregations Nearly every country worldwide 15
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  18. 18. Where are the Charismatics? North American “Charismatic” church movements  Church on the Rock International  International House of Prayer  Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship  Sovereign Grace Ministries  New Life Fellowship Association Worldwide within traditional “non-charismatic” churches  Protestant  Anglican Communion (including Episcopalians)  Lutherans  Reformed  Roman Catholic 18  Eastern Orthodox
  19. 19. Pentecostal &Charismatic Theologians Gordon Fee (Pentecostal) Stanley Horton (Pentecostal) Wayne Grudem (Reformed) J. Rodman Williams (Presbyterian) Paul Fiddes (Baptist) Kevin Ranaghan (Roman Catholic) 19
  20. 20. Worldwide Expansion of Pentecostalism Rapid spread of Christianity since 1950  P’s and C’s have been central to the spread of Christianity outside the global West to the Two-Thirds World  Most rapid growth in Brazil, Nigeria, Korea, Russia, China If trends continue then global Christianity will look very Pentecostal by the end of the 21st century 20
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  22. 22. Typical Beliefs of P&C Christians Theologically and socially conservative Evangelical and Arminian in tradition (some exceptions) Holy Spirit continues to act in accord with the “first” Pentecost. Christians today can receive the same spiritual gifts that the apostles did. Emphasize supernatural power of God to defeat disease and to provide other miraculous interventions in ordinary life Seeking and receiving the gift of tongues is a sign of the baptism of the Holy Spirit (sometimes this is a requirement for full Christian discipleship) 22
  23. 23. Typical Beliefs of P&C Christians (cont’d) Less bound to traditional forms of worship, opting for contemporary music and seeker-friendly forms for evangelistic purposes Simultaneously adapts to and confronts indigenous beliefs and practices  Americans: fundamentalism, dispensationalism, prosperity gospel  Latin Americans: Roman Catholic syncretism, Christian liberationism  Africans: spiritism, paganism, patriarchalism, anti-colonialism Neo-Pentecostals: embrace charismatic practices but not the Holiness tradition of the older Pentecostal churches 23
  24. 24. Questions for Discussion What are some of the positive/negative developments that resulted from the Pentecostal movement? Do you have any experience with pentecostal/charismatic teaching and/or practice? What is your understanding of this experience? How do you interpret it? 24
  25. 25. Modern Charismatic Renewal Beginning in 1960: Story of Rector Dennis Bennett of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Van Nuys, CA.  A couple, who were friends of Bennet, received baptism of the Holy Spirit  Bennett met with them; he experienced the same  The baptism spread through the area and Bennett’s church  Although charismatic activity was not permitted in the formal worship service, news got around and people began to ask questions  Church split but Bennett remained an Episcopal priest  Later moved to Seattle to pastor a struggling church, which took on new life  Charismatic movement spread; Bennett became a national figure 25
  26. 26. Charismatic Movement Spreads Center of movement remained in Van Nuys, CA.  Jean Stone, member of St. Mark’s Episcopal, founded the Blessed Trinity Society in 1961 to provide fellowship and information about the growing charismatic movement  Adherents, despite being reviled and misunderstood, found places of minority status within non-charismatic churches Duquesne University in Pittsburgh  Group of RC scholars studied the charismatic experience—and ended up experiencing it themselves!  After a weekend retreat there were 30 adherents which led to a new charismatic community. 26
  27. 27. First Charismatic Adherents Began as an upper and middle class movement  Episcopal and Presbyterian churches affected first.  In RCC, began at the university level, not the parish. Quickly spread to all levels of society Movement was not formally connected to Pentecostal churches  But the friends of Bennett were Pentecostal.  This informal connectional pattern continued elsewhere. 27
  28. 28. Why the Charismatic Movement Spread So Quickly Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International  Formed after a 1951 Oral Roberts campaign  Pulled together pentecostal laymen for fellowship  Immediately gave Pentecostalism some respect in the non- Pentecostal world Decline of “healing movement” in the late 1950s allowed Pentecostals to return to focused evangelism In 1968 popular Pentecostal preacher Oral Roberts became a Methodist. Patient work and testimony of Pentecostal leader David du Plessis  Unofficial ambassador of charismatic teaching to mainline churches, scholars, non-Pentecostal leaders.  Du Plessis’s warm piety and personal dignity gained him a hearing that led to a new level of understanding and trust of 28 charismatic Christians.
  29. 29. Charismatic Practice Enthusiastic expressions of worship Optimism in God’s providential placement of them in their communities of worship Open to new methods of evangelism Have experienced outstanding success in Two-Thirds world countries. 29
  30. 30. Questions for Discussion What are some of the positive/negative developments that resulted from the Charismatic movement? Are there any charismatic worship emphases that are valid expressions of public/private devotion?  Dynamic expressions such as lifting hands, bowing down, dancing, laying on hands for prayer, anointing oil, “slain in the Spirit,” “drunk in the Spirit,” etc) If so, are they necessary expressions of worship? Why or why not? 30
  31. 31. Application for Today’s Church Should we prohibit speaking in tongues in public worship (by worship leaders or congregants)? Why or why not? What is the appropriate response to “charismatic” expressions of worship? What are the theological ramifications of classifying Christians as those who have received a second baptism of the Holy Spirit, and those who have not? What are the practical ramifications? Are there any similar classifications of lower/higher Christians in your thinking? In your Christian tradition? 31
  32. 32. Possible or Not? 32