History of Pentecostal Movements

CH510 History of thePentecostal Movements

History of Pentecostal Movements, Internet Bible College, Vision CollegesPentecost began of course on the day of Pentecost in the book of Acts Ch 2 and continued to around the 4th Century.  The term Pentecostal is derived from Pentecost, the Greek name for the Jewish Feast of Weeks. For Christians, this event commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the followers of Jesus Christ, as described in the second chapter of the Book of Acts.

The pentecostal experience seems to have diminished almost to the point of extinction by the 4th and 5th century as the church became respectable and made the religion of the Roman empire.  Yet down through the centuries there have always be pockets of Pentecost in the church, sometimes isolated and hidden, sometimes open but it was not until the beginning of the 20th century that Pentecostalism (initially known as the Revivalist Movement) re-emerged as a renewal movement within Protestant Christianity.

It places special emphasis on a direct personal experience of God through the baptism with the Holy Spirit.

From 1900 to 1950's the religious mainstream did not embrace Pentecostal doctrines. If a church member or clergyman openly expressed such views, they would (either voluntarily or involuntarily) separate from their existing denomination. The charismatic movement represented a reversal of this previous pattern as those influenced by Pentecostal spirituality chose to remain in their original denominations.

American Lutheran minister Harald Bredesen coined the term "charismatic" in 1962 to describe what was happening in mainline Protestant denominations. Confronted with the term "neo-Pentecostal", he preferred to call it "the charismatic renewal in the historic churches".

In recent years the term Charismatic and Pentecostal have become interchangeable.

I. Course Description

Pentecostal or Charismatic theology is more than just a theology of spiritual gifts; worship, Bibliology, sanctification, and ecclesiology are also central. Learners will complete an historical and theological study of the origins and developments of Classical Pentecostalism, Charismatic Renewalism, and Restoration Movements, with emphasis given to theological backgrounds and trends. Lectures also analyze other related movements, including the “Jesus Only” Movement, the Vineyard Movement, and the Toronto Revival Movement. Throughout the course, the pros and cons of the various charismatic movements are presented so that students can make informed decisions on what a “victorious Christian life” entails.

II. Course Objectives

1. That the student will be able to trace the history of the Pentecostal Movement from its origin in the American Holiness Movement to its current manifestation Charismatic Renewalism and the varieties of Restorationism.

2. That the student will struggle toward a formulation (or clearer understanding) of such concepts as spiritual power and victory for himself/herself. At the minimum, the course purposes to discover the questions that must be asked in order to formulate a cogent statement of the "victorious Christian life."

3. That the student will gain insight into the nature and defense of Pentecostal and Charismatic distinctives, as well as the theological changes that have taken and are taking place in the movement.

4. That the student will understand theological differences among Holiness, Pentecostal, Charismatic, and Restorationists groups, as well as theological change within those groups.

5. That the student will gain insight into the contribution of Pentecostalism to the religious history of the American people, the nation, and the world.

6. That the student will gain insight and understanding into the status and contemporary trends among Charismatics.

7. That the student will see and understand the issues with which the Pentecostal/Charismatic Renewalists churches are currently grappling.

8. That the student will become knowledgeable of the major formulators and the propagators of Pentecostalism, both their biography and theology.

9. That the student will be given facilities for personal research with a view to using the course in future ministries.

10. That the student will obtain an in-depth knowledge of available bibliography including the original sources.

III. Course Requirements

A. Listening:

The oral content of this course is presented on the twenty-four lectures that are found in the "Lesson" section of this course management system. These must be carefully comprehended as they form an integral segment of the course.

B. Study Questions:

After listening to each lecture, you are to read and answer the several questions that are presented after the outline in the Lesson Viewer. The study questions have been designed to help you learn the material of the tape because they require a significant comprehension of the material. You are free to take notes on each lecture with a view to answering the question or reviewing the material for details. Answers to the questions must be written in full, comprehensive sentences and paragraphs. The first twelve are to be turned in for grading by the time of the first examination, the remaining twelve by the second examination.

C. Reading:

Each student is required to purchase and read extensively in the following work: The New International Dictionary of Pentecostal And Charismatic Movements (Revised and Expanded Edition). Edited by Stanley M. Burgess and Eduard M. Van Der Maas. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing Co., 2002. This work is singularly a wonderful collection of a vast array of material, written by sympathetic scholars, and has the advantage of being a standard tool for many years to come. You will be asked to read several articles after listening to each of the lectures; these are delineated in the course schedule below.

Supplemental Readings: In addition to the Dictionary, there are several required articles for many lessons. These articles are given in PDF format in the "Resources" tab. Download, print, and read these articles as you work through the lessons.

D. Written Work

1. You are required to read two additional books and prepare a review of each. The first will be due with the Study Questions and the first examination: the second will be due with the remaining Study Questions and the last examination.

2. The first book review will be over James I. Packer's Keep In Step With The Spirit (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1984). The book is a multiple-views text dealing with the various positions on sanctification including the ones discussed in the early lessons of this course. The purpose of the text is to cause the student to begin to think critically about the doctrine of sanctification. The review should be 8-10 pages typewritten and intellectually comprehensible.

3. The second book review will be the student's choice from the following list. The student may select a book from an area of interest and prepare a review according to the guidelines of the first review.

Deere, Jackie. Surprised by the Power of the Spirit. Grand Rapids, MI.: Zondervan Publishing Corporation, 1993. This work reflects the sojourn of a scholar from a non-charismatic tradition to the Vineyard Movement; it is profoundly interesting and his arguments should be seriously considered by any person seeking to follow Christ.

Grudem, Wayne. The Gift of Prophesy: In the New Testament and Today. Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1988. Dr. Grudem argues that the gift of prophecy is for today. The work presents his understanding of the evidence and cogent definition of terms.

Ranaghan, Kevin. The Lord, The Spirit, The Church. South Bend, In.: Charismatic Renewal Services, 1973.

O'Conner, Edward D. The Pentecostal Movement in the Catholic Church. South Bend, In.: Ava Maria Press, 1971.

Wimber, John. Power Evangelism. San Francisco, Harper & Row, Publishers, 1986. This book is the seminal book on the beliefs of the Vineyard Movement.

E. Examinations:

There are two examinations in this course. The first will cover the content of the initial twelve lectures; the last will cover the entire course and be comprehensive.

Click here to download the course outline (PDF)

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