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I’m reading Christianity’s Dangerous Idea by Alister McGrath. He devotes quite a number pages to Pentecostalism. He describes the origins of Pentecostalism very differently than I had previously understood.

“The historical origins of Pentecostalism now seem as complex as those of the original Protestant Reformation itself. A number of roughly contemporary movements with recognizable shared beliefs and expectations emerged in the first decade of the twentieth century, but without any obvious indication of reciprocal causality.

“The picture that is now becoming clear is that of a series of local “Pentecostalism” emerging in the first decade of the twentieth century. The 1906 revival at Azusa Street was one of them. So was the 1903 revival in Pyongyang, Korea; the 1905-7 revival at Pandita Ramabai’s Mukti Mission in Poona, India; the Manchurian revival of 1908; the revival in Valparaiso, Chile, in 1909; the revival that broke out in the Ivory Coast, the Gold Coast, and the Liberian Kru in 1914; and other revivals in Norway, China, Venezuela, and elsewhere. Each of these revivals demonstrated Pentecostal characteristics, though there was no clear connection between them. What we can now recognize as Pentecostalism was well established in India before anyone there had heard of Charles Parham, Azusa Street, or William Seymour.”

Isn’t that amazing?! I love it how God does things like that. I’ve always associated Pentecostalism with William Seymour and Azusa Street. Apparently, he was one of many. Incredible that Protestants all the world would make such a strong break from the understanding of the previous centuries at the same time, independently. Thank God they did.

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