The Holiness-Pentecostal Tradition: Charismatic Movements in the Twentieth Century

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Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, Aug 25, 1997 - Religion - 340 pages
Called "a pioneer contribution" by Church History when it was first published in 1971 as The Holiness-Pentecostal Movement in the United States, this volume has now been revised and enlarged by Vinson Synan to account for the incredible changes that have occurred in the church world during the last quarter of the twentieth century. Synan brings together the stories of the many movements usually listed as "holiness," "pentecostal," or "charismatic," and shows that there is an identifiable "second blessing" tradition in Christianity that began with the Catholic and Anglican mystics, that was crystallized in the teaching of John Wesley, and that was further perpetuated through the holiness and Keswick movements of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to the appearance of modern Pentecostalism. Synan then chronicles the story of the spread of Pentecostalism around the world after the heady days of the Azusa Street awakening, with special attention given to the beginnings of the movement in those nations where Pentecostalism has become a major religious force. He also examines the rise of various mainline-church charismatic movements that have their roots in Pentecostalism. Because of the explosive growth of the Pentecostal movement in the last half of the century, Pentecostals and Charismatics now constitute the second largest family of Christians in the world after the Roman Catholic Church. "This could well be the major story of Christianity in the twentieth century," writes Synan. "Pentecostalism has grown beyond a mere passing 'movement' . . . and can now be seen as a major Christian 'tradition' alongside the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Reformation Protestant traditions." The Holiness-Pentecostal Tradition will continue to be an important handbook for shaping our understanding of this phenomenon.

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User Review  - James Reynolds, MD -

This is certainly one of the best books about Pentecostal history ever published, written by one of the few scholars in the field. It is readable, enlightening, and accurate...a great starting point for students, researchers, and anyone interested in this fascinating subject. Read full review


The Double Cure 17661866
Echoes from the Forest Temple The National Holiness Association 18671894
The FireBaptized Way
The Churches of God
The American Jerusalem Azusa Street
Pentecost Comes South
Missionaries of the One Way Ticket
Criticism and Controversy 19061920
The Pentecostals in Society 19011960
The NeoPentecostal Movement
The Catholic Charismatic Renewal
The Charismatic Explosion
Centennial Reflections

The AfricanAmerican Pentecostals

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Page 5 - About three in the morning, as we were continuing instant in prayer, the power of God came mightily upon us, insomuch that many cried out for exceeding joy, and many fell to the ground. As soon as we were recovered...
Page 3 - My chief motive, to which all the rest are subordinate, is the hope of saving my own soul. I hope to learn the true sense of the gospel of Christ by preaching it to the heathen.
Page 7 - I am at my wit's end with regard to two things, — the Church, and Christian perfection. Unless both you and I stand in the gap in good earnest, the Methodists will drop them both. Talking will not avail. We must do, or be borne away.
Page 9 - Lave been at meetings where the whole congregation would be bathed in tears : and sometimes their cries would be so loud that the preacher's voice could not be heard. Some would be seized with a...

About the author (1997)

Vinson Synan is distinguished professor of Christian History at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

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