As a Christian “of Pentecostal extraction” working at Christianity Today International, I was often asked by friends from that movement to see whether I couldn’t get some more coverage of the Wesleyan-holiness-Pentecostal-charismatic stream in CTI publications. I agree that Christianity Today itself had not always done a great job of covering that significant (to put it mildly) stream within American and world evangelicalism–though I think that’s starting to change. So early on, I posted a couple of short items pointing to the affinities between Pentecostals and other evangelicals. Here is one of those:
Do Non-Charismatics ‘Do’ Holy Spirit Baptism?
Ask D. L. Moody, Charles G. Finney, Jonathan Edwards, or Cotton Mather
Recently we’ve heard a lot about the rapid worldwide growth of Pentecostal and charismatic groups. Researcher David Barrett and his team have been reminding us for years that these groups have passed all others in their global spread. Polls here at home have showed similarly high domestic growth rates in such groups.
Some secular commentators have found this growth menacing—the burgeoning of yet another potentially violent, reactionary religious group. Some evangelicals, too, are discomfited, finding the charismatics’ emphasis on Spirit-bestowed gifts such as tongues and prophecy exotic, if not downright alien. Continue reading