The Globalization Of Pentecostalism: A Review Article -- By: Paul Elbert

Journal: Trinity Journal
Volume: TRINJ 23:1 (Spring 2002)
Article: The Globalization Of Pentecostalism: A Review Article
Author: Paul Elbert

The Globalization Of Pentecostalism:
A Review Article

Paul Elberta

The Globalization of Pentecostalism: A Religion Made To Travel,1 is the result of a conference in Costa Rica (1996) devoted to a selection of issues emerging from the ongoing globalization of what Presbyterian theologian J. Rodman Williams identifies as the Pentecostal Reformation,2 a movement which represents more than one third of the world’s practicing Christians, more than all of Protestantism combined. In Williams’s case, for example, his many writings,3 especially his trilogy, Renewal Theology,4 have been of some assistance to the global Pentecostal and Charismatic renewal movements as have the biblical contributions, for example, of Arrington, Ervin, Horton, Palma, and Rea5 from within the

Pentecostal sector. These movements6 continue to attempt to reach out to Christians in various denominations through conferences and symposia around the world, as is the case with the current effort of Dempster, Klaus, and Peterson. The estimate that the Pentecostal and neo-Pentecostal movements now numerically dwarf all Protestantism combined is probably a conservative numerical estimate by Baptist statistician David Barrett’s latest tabulation7 and accords with the belief of traveling observers that there are over a million Pentecostal churches in villages, towns, and cities across the world. Given the contributions of the Reformed/evangelical and Catholic tradition to the Charismatic Renewal, joining Pentecostalism’s renewed emphasis on Scripture and experience in theological reflection and hermeneutics,8 and to various former and ongoing dialogues with Pentecostals,9 the fruits and outreach of this conference in Costa Rica, along with associated theological

ramifications, are of obvious importance to all serious observers of the contemporary religious scene.

Dempster, Klaus, and Peterson have put together a collection of essays built around three pre-selected themes, somewhat similar in style to the earlier Charismatic Christianity as a Gl...

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