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An Introduction to Pentecostalism: Global Charismatic Christianity / Edition 1

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Overview

Global Pentecostalism and Charismatic Christianity in all its diversity is the fastest expanding religious movement in the world today. Allan Anderson, a former Pentecostal minister and leading authority on global Pentecostalism, aims to make more visible the 'non-western' nature of Pentecostalism without overlooking the importance of the movement emanating from North America. Offering an innovative interpretation of Pentecostalism, he takes seriously the contributions of the Majority World to its development and, concentrating on its history and theology, reflects on the movement's development and significance, throughout the world. Anderson also examines those theological issues that helped form a distinctive spirituality and how this relates to different peoples and their cultures. Finally, Anderson discusses the development of Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity in the different countries from its origins at the beginning of the twentieth century to its theological emphases in the present, together with the impact of the processes of globalization.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[T]he strength of this book is its breadth of purview...Recommended."
-D. Jacobsen, Messiah College, CHOICE

"Anderson's prose is clear, and his comment to the evidence informs the argument on every page. His is simply the best scholarly introduction to world Pentecostalism on the market today. Church leaders, specialists, advanced undergraduates, and graduate students in missiology and church history will benefit from this penetrating study."
-Peter A. Huff, Missiology

"Anderson's first-rate introduction provides an accomplished single source for Pentecostal studies and it surely will be a key text for many years."
-H. Chad Hillier, Wycliffe College, Toronto, Studies in Religion

"This is an outstanding book that I thoroughly enjoy[ed] reading. I believe that it provides a wonderful introduction to Pentecostalism, and all serious students of this particular arm of Christianity are encouraged to read it."
-Dave Johnson, Pneuma Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521532808
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 8/11/2004
  • Series: Introduction to Religion Series
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 316
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Meet the Author

Allan Anderson is Reader in Pentecostal Studies at the University of Birmingham. He is the author of five books, including Moya: The Holy Spirit in an African Context (1991), Zion and Pentecost (2000) and African Reformation (2001), and has edited two collections including Pentecostals after a Century (1999) and Asian and Pentecostal (2003).
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Read an Excerpt


Cambridge University Press
0521825733 - An Introduction to Pentecostalism - Global Charismatic Christianity - by Allan Anderson
Excerpt



1
Identifying Pentecostals and Charismatics



The Pentecostal and Charismatic movements in all their multifaceted variety constitute the fastest growing group of churches within Christianity today. According to some often-quoted estimates there are over five hundred million adherents worldwide,1 found in almost every country in the world. If these figures are not wild guesses, they indicate that in less than a hundred years, Pentecostal, Charismatic and associated movements have become the largest numerical force in world Christianity after the Roman Catholic Church and represent a quarter of all Christians. Pentecostalism began just over a century ago and the movements continue to expand into the twenty-first century. Although the term 'Pentecostalism' is used here in an all-embracing way to include the Charismatic movement and new Pentecostal or 'neocharismatic' churches of many different descriptions, the subtitle of this book includes 'Charismatic Christianity' because we must sometimes distinguish between denominational or 'classical' Pentecostalism on the one hand, and those other movements like Charismatic movements within the older churches, autochthonous prophetic churches in the Majority World and the neocharismatic independent churches on the other. But before we introduce this phenomenon and define our terms, here are descriptive vignettes from five cities in different continents of Sunday worship services in Pentecostal and Charismatic churches.

SEOUL, KOREA

My first visit to the Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul, South Korea, the largest Christian congregation in the world, was in May 1998. This bustling congregation of some 700,000 members defies superlatives. I remember watching in awe as I stood outside the building half an hour before the third service of the day at 11.00 am. Ushers in cream jackets linked arms together to prevent the thousands of people who were waiting from going up the steps into the main sanctuary. All are dressed in their 'Sunday best'. If they were not in early they would have to sit in one of the overflow chapels and watch the service on a large video screen. But first, the 25,000 worshippers who had attended the 9.00 am service had to get out. Eventually the outgoing throng subsided and the ushers let the incoming crowds in. Thousands of people armed with Bibles and hymnbooks pressed on up the stairs, and after finishing my camcorder recording my Korean host and I joined them. The transition was carried out smoothly and quickly with remarkable Korean efficiency.

Yonggi Cho and his future mother-in-law, Jashil Choi, started this congregation in 1958 in a slum area of Seoul. This is by no means the only mega-church in Seoul but it is the largest, now situated in Yoido, the area of the most expensive real estate in the country and the capital's equivalent of New York's Manhattan. Cho acquired the property before the present high-rise development. The building with an illuminated white cross is a prominent landmark in the city and can be seen from the motorway on the other side of the Han River.

I have attended three Sunday morning services in Yoido, and apart from the content of the sermon they were much the same. Korean Pentecostalism is generally more formal than most other Pentecostal types I am familiar with. Their liturgy is influenced by the Presbyterian churches in Korea, by far the largest group of churches in the country, who in turn have been influenced by the 'Korean Pentecost', the Korean Revivals of 1903-10. Hymns born in the revivals and in the USA Holiness movements of the late nineteenth century are easily recognized in their Korean translations used by all Protestant and Pentecostal churches.

As we enter the 11.00 am service in September 2002, a performance of the highly professional orchestra and the about 200-voice choir is going on. The church has a different choir and orchestra for each service. Women dance gracefully in traditional costumes in front of the large platform. We are seated on the balcony of the ornate, circular sanctuary where earphones for simultaneous translations in English, Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, French and Russian are available. The view is overwhelming. To the left of us is the blue-robed choir, behind them the enormous pipes of the organ, below is the orchestra, ahead is the large platform, which seems strangely empty, adding to the aura surrounding one pastor sitting on the left and Pastor David Yonggi Cho kneeling in prayer on the right, with the pulpit in the centre. When the choir finishes, the pastor reads a Psalm and the vast congregation sings 'Praise God from whom all blessings flow'. In common with all Korean Protestants and unlike most Pentecostals in the rest of the world, the congregation then recites the Apostles' Creed. When this is done, we sing a hymn as the music director turns around from facing the choir and conducts us, baton in hand. Then an elder prays while the congregation assents by punctuating his prayer with many 'Amens'. One woman cries out in tongues during this prayer, but she is mostly unnoticed. The whole congregation then reads together the text for the sermon, Matthew 11:12, and the choir sings an anthem. We are then presented with a video presentation on two large screens concerning the recent typhoon that has devastated areas of south-east Korea leaving some 200 dead and many more homeless, said to be the greatest natural disaster in recent Korean history. This church has been involved in extensive relief work, collecting 700 million won (over half a million US dollars) to provide food, clothing, medical supplies and volunteers to work in the affected areas.

Figure 1. Worshippers inside Yoido Full Gospel Church, Seoul, Korea, 2002.

After the video presentation Dr Cho goes to the pulpit and welcomes all people watching on satellite and internet links, including churches in several Japanese cities that he mentions by name. His sermon, of which foreigners are given an English outline, is 'Drive Out the Seven Enemies'. He declares that just as the Israelites had to drive out seven nations from Canaan, so Christians have to drive out the seven enemies of sin, worldliness, sickness, poverty, hatred, fear and despair. He preaches for a little less than an hour. Sometimes he asks the congregation to read a key Bible verse aloud; sometimes he exhorts the congregation to 'tell the people next to you' that they are eternally saved, that they have power over the devil, or that they are blessed. In characteristic fashion, he gives testimonies of people helped during his ministry spanning five decades. He describes the Korean War and the failings of Communism. The sermon ends with Cho leading the people in responsive prayer and the audience applauds warmly. The choir and orchestra strike up 'Because He lives, I can face tomorrow', followed as quickly by 'Chio' ('Lord') prayer. This may be the most moving part of the service, as 25,000 voices swell in simultaneous audible prayer. Just as quickly it ceases to the single high-pitched peal of a bell, and again the choir leads the congregation in the refrain 'God is so good, He's so good to me'. Again applause, followed by the offering while the choir sings 'Tell me more about Jesus'. Announcements are made, after which Pastor Cho again takes the microphone and encourages people to continue their work in the storm relief. After prayer the entire congregation sings 'The Lord's Prayer' (another moving moment); Cho gives a benediction and the choir sings a short 'Hallelujah' anthem. The service has taken exactly an hour and a half and we disperse with the crowd.

LAGOS, NIGERIA

Lagos is arguably the most Pentecostal city in the world. It has a long history of independent African churches emphasizing spiritual gifts, dating back to the time of the great influenza epidemic of 1918. Then, those who left the mission churches and sought God in prayer for healing became known as 'Aladura', a Yoruba word meaning 'possessors of prayer'. The white-robed, often bare-footed Aladura are still found in thriving churches, but in Lagos one cannot fail to notice hundreds of relatively new churches with signboards on every street corner, as I did in May 2001 on a visit to this teeming African city. Pentecostals are everywhere: they preach in buses, at market places and in massive campgrounds, tents, stadiums, churches and auditoriums. They dominate the media. Pentecostalism has profoundly affected all forms of Christianity in Nigeria. On one Sunday we visited five different churches, including a Charismatic Anglican church, two Aladura churches, and two independent Charismatic churches. Some of the largest gatherings of Christians in the world occur in the campgrounds of these Nigerian churches, where literally hundreds of thousands of people attend all-night Friday meetings in places with names like Redemption Ground and Canaan Land. The older churches are struggling to keep pace with the jet-setting entrepreneurs who head up these new organizations. One that is managing to do so is the Christ Apostolic Church, the biggest of Nigeria's older Pentecostal churches sitting somewhat half way between Aladura and classical Pentecostal churches.

We attend a service of this church in a church building that has only a platform, steel structure and a roof with no walls. This makes it easier for the two thousand or so people who have gathered, cramming around the sides of the property. Unlike their white-robed Aladura compatriots, the CAC members wear ordinary clothes, and they too have dressed up for church, thus belying the poverty all around them in this part of Lagos. Men and women are separated on either side of the aisle but as is usually the case throughout the world, there are many more women than men present. When the congregation are invited to pray there is a roar of simultaneous prayer in unison. Pastor Samuel Abiara is dressed in a dark pinstriped business suit with coattails almost reaching his knees. His is a commanding presence, and the people have obviously come with eager expectation to hear him preach. He preaches from the Gospel of John on the power of the Word of God for protection against spiritual enemies, and his long sermon is interspersed with readings from the Bible in English and Yoruba. As he preaches from hand-written notes the pastor walks around the congregation with a microphone and a video camera operator in hot pursuit. At the end of the preaching he reads letters from people who have been helped by the preaching in the church. One woman has been abused by her husband, and the pastor uses this as an occasion to give counselling to the many women in similar situations. Come and listen to the Word of God, he says, for you cannot control your husband with violence. The service ends with an offering, in which large plastic bins are used.

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA

A Christian worker in Argentina from Northern Ireland attended the church of one of the city's best-known Pentecostal pastors, Claudio Freidzon, and gave the following graphic, somewhat tongue-in-cheek account of her experience.2

It was just about to start. My hope for a seat evaporated instantly; the old cinema was completely full and people were already standing at the back. A smartly suited young man took centre stage and suddenly the hall erupted into applause. A deep drum roll led into the bouncy beat of 'La única razón para vivir'. The floor vibrated with hundreds of tapping feet and a few energetic youth jumping to rhythm. The rock music electrified the air, raising excitement and expectation; the people sang with hot Latin enthusiasm. The song finished to instant applause and another song even more vibrant than the first started up. The first had only been a warm up, now we were really getting into it. The song leader paced the stage like a pop star holding the microphone close to his mouth. Everyone knew the words, and they sang without restraint, punching the air with clenched fists, then with pointed fingers. The floor vibrated, the air tingled, the beat pulsated through the body and excitement grew. 'We are part of history', he shouted. Everyone cheered. 'Argentina is part of history'. Excited clapping and screaming erupted.

Freidzon arrived to more applause. He took the microphone, a stream of incomprehensible words followed, people joined in with praise tongues, the loud music continued, the auditorium was filled with music and the hum of human voices praising God. Slowly he walked back and forth with hands in the air continuing to speak in tongues into the mike, and then he started clapping. In a loud voice he declared, 'You reign over all the earth'. The people cheered and clapped. ' Manifiesta, manifiesta', he commanded. He started to pray. 'Flames, flames', he called while wafting his hands over the front rows. People stretched their hands high as if trying to catch the flames. The deep drum roll continued while he prayed in tongues then moved into the music for the next song, as he started singing 'Rise up Lord'.

With the lively beat everyone burst into fiesta mode once more. The worship leader took over, he sang a line and everyone responded, 'huye, huye' (flee or get out) while pushing their hands over their shoulders. After five minutes of this I reckoned that any demons present should have known that they weren't welcome. Ecstatic clapping and cheering followed. We watched a video on how the tragic nation of Uganda is being changed by God. The video emphasized how the Ugandan people had turned to God in prayer, even publicly dedicating their nation to God on Millennium night. 'The key, which the world doesn't know, is prayer', explained Pastor Freidzon. 'We are aware that Argentina is passing through a spiritual awakening . . . our God is God of the impossible . . . We have access to the most important decisions of the government because the King of Kings hears us'. Applause. 'We are in His presence'. Applause. 'This is a supernatural convocation'. Applause. 'I call all the churches of the nation to prayer . . . [I call the nation to] renounce witchcraft and give place to Jesus. Our reaction in these adverse times must be to pray to God with our whole heart'. He paces the platform while praying. 'You know and you liberate from every kind of sickness and difficulty, . . . giving prosperity, . . . we pray for those in the midst of this testing. Some among the people of God are still captives of the enemy. . . . Resist the devil, submit yourselves to God, resist the lie. . . . How does one break the curses that have held generations? Jesus! . . .' Applause. 'Let's pray individually but together'.

Five hundred people, having been moved by what they have seen and heard, turn and kneel at the chairs they had been sitting on. The soft hum of prayer fills the hall. Those without chairs kneel heads to the floor. Some pray quietly, some loudly; the lady in front of me weeps audibly, a man nearby trembles gently. Freidzon walks down the aisle touching people's heads; as he touches the trembling man saying 'more fire, more fire' he shakes all over. A boy of about nine carrying a bundle of clothing goes to him and asks for prayer. He falls backwards but is caught and soon recovers and takes the blessed clothing back to his mother. People prayed for their families, for the nation, for the government. Surely if God can change Uganda he can change Argentina! Certainly no one else has an answer.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND

My family and I enter the South Birmingham Vineyard at 10.30 in the morning on a warm summer's day in July 2002. This is one of the 'Third Wave' churches in the UK that began in the early 1990s and is part of the Association of Vineyard Churches founded by John Wimber in Anaheim, California. The service is held in a school hall and about 250 chairs have been put out. Doughnuts and coffee are served at the back, and as we enter we are warmly greeted and handed a weekly bulletin. The congregation is mostly English middle class, casually dressed and rather youthful by church standards in this country, although there are a number of grey hairs around. The service begins on time and first a pastor dressed in Bermuda shorts and a tee shirt welcomes everyone and says that we are going to get intimate with the Lord. The congregation murmurs approvingly. A young man in a tee shirt and jeans on the electronic keyboard leads the worship, accompanied by two young women on vocals, a bass guitarist and a drummer. There is no rhythm guitar this morning. The young man begins singing 'He brought me to his banqueting table and his banner over me is love . . . We can feel the love of God in this place . . .' and we sing this several times through. We pass on to a softer and more 'worshipful' song and people raise their hands in praise. For about forty minutes we sing about four songs and listen as various people share the revelations they have received. One woman describes a solid heavy wooden door that we must open and go through if we are to worship God correctly. Another says that we must push the door the right way to 'enter in' to God's intimate presence.

Next, the senior pastor Andrew McNeil, mounts the stage and apologizes for being absent the previous Sunday, as he was north in Leeds helping a new Vineyard church recently planted there. He is in his thirties, quietly spoken and refined in speech. He begins to teach from 2 Corinthians 9 about generous giving. He speaks about two couples going out from this 'church family' in the next two months to work in Lebanon among Palestinian refugees, work that is being done in Malawi for the poor and an organization called 'Christians Against Poverty' that someone in the congregation will talk about after the sermon. After he has finished speaking for about half an hour people are invited to go forward for prayer, and several people pray for those who respond. The service ends with announcements and people begin to disperse.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

African American church historian David D. Daniels III and I arrive at about midday at the St Luke Church of God in Christ in March 1999, as snowstorms in Missouri had delayed our flight to Chicago from the annual meeting of the Society for Pentecostal Studies. At his gracious invitation I am visiting his home church in downtown Chicago, a congregation of the largest African American Pentecostal denomination in the USA, founded in 1897 by Charles H. Mason, who remained its presiding bishop until 1961. I later learn from David Daniels and PhD student Eric Williams that activities at their church start at 6.00 am, when the doors are opened for 'prayer warriors' to pray for the Spirit's presence and moving in the coming service that begins at 7.45 am. The church 'Mothers' lead the prayer service, and most kneel around the altar, with a unique musical chant-like quality infusing their prayer accompanied by tears, praise and ecstatic speech. During the main service, especially during the lively praise singing led by the choir, many of the church members will break into 'holy dancing', speaking in tongues, or loud and spontaneous praises. The service also includes formal hymn singing, Scripture readings, community announcements and the offering. The church is packed with some two hundred people all dressed in their Sunday best, men in suits and women in modestly conservative dresses with hats. Somebody makes room for us and hands us a printed order of service as we sit in the front row; the preacher is in full swing. His preaching is dialogical, punctuated with exclamations from members of the congregation, 'Yes, Lord!', 'Thank you Jesus!', 'Hallelujah!', 'Glory!', 'Amen!', and other similar expressions of appreciation. The organist sounds arpeggios at appropriate times during the sermon. The preaching is not just a sermon - it is a spontaneous poem, a vivid illustration and a hymn of praise at the same time. Towards the close of his message the preacher begins to sing an exhortation and the congregation are taken up with the elation of it. When the congregation sings, it is an intensely soul-like chant in harmonious unity with bodily movements like exuberant dancing, rhythmic clapping and uplifted hands. People are invited to come to the altar at the front to respond to the preacher's invitation for prayer. After a benediction the service ends and the congregation melts into groups for social interaction and communion.

UNDERSTANDING TERMS

In the study of global 'Pentecostal' and 'Charismatic' Christianity, it is very important to understand what we mean by these terms. The sampling of different Pentecostal and Charismatic church services given above demonstrates several common features, but there are many differences too. All demonstrate what Suurmond has called 'the Word and Spirit at play', where everyone has a contribution to make to the service, much like the creative combination of spontaneity and order in a jazz performance.3 All would emphasize the immediate presence of God in the service, all would expect some sign of miraculous intervention (often called 'gifts of the Spirit'), and would encourage congregational participation, especially in prayer and worship. There is usually a leading preacher, and an appeal for a response. But these similarities are only the tip of the iceberg. There are as many different types of Pentecostal and Charismatic churches as there are thousands of organizations. Although an oral liturgy is still part of most Pentecostal and Charismatic services, in the larger celebrations a written order of service has become necessary, which limits the spontaneity and participation of all in the liturgy. This is often offset in the opportunities given to members to pray simultaneously, to dance and sing during the 'praise and worship', to exercise gifts of the Spirit, to respond to the 'altar call', and to call out their approval of the preaching with expletives like 'Amen!' and 'Hallelujah!' and with applause and laughter.

But because of the great diversity within Pentecostal and Charismatic movements, it is very difficult to find some common unifying features or distinctiveness by which they might be defined. It is an extremely precarious task in the first place, as it gives the person who attempts it a tremendous responsibility to see that justice is done to those who might not fit precisely into this definition. Pentecostals have defined themselves by so many paradigms that diversity itself has become a primary defining characteristic of Pentecostal and Charismatic identity. It is now probably better to speak of a whole 'range of Pentecostalisms'.4 Scholars have attempted various and divergent ways of defining Pentecostalism, some of which are ambiguous and of little use, while others attempt to demonstrate 'distinctiveness' and create unnecessarily strained relationships with other Christians as a result. These typically argue for the 'purity' of the term 'Pentecostal' and adopt a particular theological position over and even against others, implicitly linking the term to the doctrines of 'subsequence' and 'initial evidence'. These doctrines, which will be discussed in more detail later, originated in the USA at the beginning of the twentieth century and refer to the experience of the baptism with (or in) the Holy Spirit. This is a primary defining characteristic of US Pentecostalism, where it is believed that those who have this post-conversion experience will speak in strange tongues as 'initial physical evidence'. Although this reflects the doctrinal position of most 'classical' Pentecostals (but by no means all), this way of defining Pentecostalism narrows to include only what we call 'classical' Pentecostals of the North American type, or those who speak in tongues. Too limited a definition of 'Pentecostal' and 'Charismatic', however, cannot be supported from a global perspective, as this excludes those multitudes of Christians whose equally authentic experience of the Spirit is different from those who speak in tongues. Even Donald Dayton's well-known exposition of a 'common four-fold pattern' to distinguish what 'Pentecostalism' is,5 although broader, can only neatly be applied to 'classical Pentecostalism' in North America. In this book I will adopt an inclusive definition to avoid both the bigotry of excluding those who do not agree with a particular understanding of the Bible and the triumphalism of those who boast about the growth of their own movement.

A look at some statistics may help us understand the diversity of this phenomenon and the controversy surrounding definitions. The numbers of Pentecostals and Charismatics in the world, as with any global statistics, are not easily arrived at. David Barrett's statistics (now produced in conjunction with Todd Johnson) on world Christianity are well known, widely quoted and broadly accepted - and for good reason. They are quoted at the beginning of many a scholarly work on Pentecostalism, particularly to underline the strength of Pentecostal and Charismatic movements. They have been produced with considerable effort and painstaking research, suggesting that there were over 523 million 'Pentecostal/ charismatics' in the world in 2001.6 Recent statistics from Johnstone and Mandryk are much more conservative: 345 million 'Charismatic', including 115 million 'Pentecostal' in 2000. This considerable difference is easily explained. Barrett and Johnson include in their category of 'Pentecostal/charismatic' a 'megabloc' of 394 million 'Independents', which is about three quarters of the total. To add to the confusion, the 'Independents' are further defined as having the 'synonymous alternate terms' of 'postdenominationalists' and 'neo-apostolics'. They are clearly distinguished from classical Pentecostals, but share with them an emphasis on the power of the Spirit. The writers say that one of the hallmarks of this movement is the emphasis on 'gifts of the Spirit' and 'a desire to receive more of God's empowering for the Christian life'. They explain that this new 'megabloc' includes the 'non-white indigenous' category in their earlier statistics. Johnstone and Mandryk don't include this latter group in their use of the term 'Charismatic', saying that their figures are at best reasonable estimates and 'more cautious' than Barrett and Johnson's. Unpacking Barrett and Johnson's terminology even further reveals that among many other groups, the majority of the 'non-white indigenous' churches are the 'Han Chinese churches' with an estimated 80 million members, and the 'African Independent Churches' (AICs) with 55 million members. In comparison, Johnstone and Mandryk have estimated 78 million adherents of AICs, a fifth of African Christians, and these are not included in their 'Charismatic' category. Another reason for the discrepancies between the two sets of statistics lies in the 'more cautious' approach of Johnstone and Mandryk, who define 'Charismatics' as 'those who testify to a renewing experience of the Holy Spirit and present exercise of the gifts of the Spirit'. 'Pentecostals' are defined as 'those affiliated to specifically Pentecostal denominations committed to a Pentecostal theology usually including a post-conversion experience of a baptism in the Spirit'.7 It is clear these days that classical Pentecostals cannot be universally classified on the basis of the 'initial evidence' teaching, which is not in the official doctrines of some of the oldest Pentecostal denominations in Europe and South America; and even where it is, classical Pentecostals are by no means unanimous about its interpretation.



© Cambridge University Press
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Table of Contents

1 Identifying Pentecostals and Charismatics 1
2 Historical and theological background 19
3 North American classical Pentecostalism 39
4 Pentecostalism in Latin America and the Caribbean 63
5 Pentecostalism in Europe 83
6 African Pentecostalism and 'spirit' churches 103
7 Pentecostalism in Asia, Australia and the Pacific 123
8 The Charismatic movement and the new Pentecostals 144
9 The writing of Pentecostal history 166
10 A theology of the spirit 187
11 Mission, evangelism and eschatology 206
12 The Bible and the 'full gospel' 225
13 Pentecostal education and ecumenism 243
14 Pentecostals and Charismatics in society 261
15 Globalization and the future of Pentecostalism 279
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