Sooner or later, every parent and teacher learns that the surest way to pique a student's interest is to declare a topic off limits. At the Christian college I attended, I got interested in contemporary literature when my lit teacher told us not to read a certain short story because the school and our parents would not approve. She was sly.
Associate editor Madison Trammel attended a Christian college that was officially cessationist (that is, it taught that tongues, prophecy, and healing had died off with the apostles). Perhaps that is what sharpened his interest in Pentecostalism and the charismatic movement.
You can credit Madison for this issue's cover package, because he was the one who asked Mark Galli, "We are going to publish something about Pentecostalism 100 years after the Azusa Street revival, right?" Not only did Mark agree, he gave Madison the responsibility of developing these articles.
Madison is particularly sensitive to divisions in the body of Christ. The two that interest him most are the divisions along racial or ethnic lines, and the division between Pentecostal/charismatic evangelicals and those that are not. Madison's interest in ethnic reconciliation comes from growing up in multicultural Los Angeles and from marrying an American-born Chinese woman. Madison and Regina have a 10-month old son named Asher Zhou and attend Parkwood Community Church, a congregation largely made up of 30-something, second-generation Asian Americans.
The forum of charismatic and Pentecostal leaders was made possible through the extra efforts of friends at Strang Communications. In that panel, you'll find candid comments about the strengths and challenges of the movement. Madison tried to gather key leaders at our Chicago-area offices, only to discover that no one was crazy enough to come to Illinois in January. So special thanks to Valerie Lowe, Lee Grady, and others who hosted the event at Strang's Lake Mary, Florida headquarters. (Fortunately, Madison and Rob Moll got a nice winter weekend in Orlando.)
Want to know more about the history and current state of the Pentecostal movement? In our August issue, Bethel Seminary historian Chris Armstrong will trace the ways Pentecostal influence has permeated churches beyond the movement's borders. And there's no handier historical introduction to the rise of Pentecostalism than the Spring 1998 issue of our sister publication Christian History & Biography. That issue was edited by Mark Galli when he was managing editor of Christian History. It can be ordered for $5 at christianitytoday.com/go/ch58.
The ct e-panel: Once a year, we invite readers to join an e-panel that helps the editors evaluate various items for treatment in the magazine. If you would like to be part of this "sounding board" panel, go to http://christianitytoday.com/go/ctepanel. After you fill out a questionnaire, our research staff will consider you for one of the 20 or so openings on the panel. This is one of many ways we like to interact with our readers.
Copyright © 2006 Christianity Today. Click for reprint information.
Also posted today is:
Pentecostals: The Sequel | What will it take for this world phenomenon to stay vibrant for another 100 years?
Christian History & Biography devoted an issue to The Rise of Pentecostalism, which is available from the CTLibrary.
More recent Christianity Today articles on Pentecostalism include:
The Pentecostal Gold Standard | After 50 years in ministry, Jack Hayford continues to confound stereotypesall to the good. (July 1, 2005)
Hand-Clapping in a Gothic Nave | What Pentecostals and mainliners can learn from each other. (March 11, 2005)
Christian History Corner
The Roots of Pentecostal ScandalRomanticism Gone to Seed | The sexual stumblings of prominent ministers point to a hidden flaw in Pentecostal spirituality. (Sept. 17, 2004)
Christian History Corner
Romanticism Gone to SeedPart II | Have the holiness and Pentecostal movements really been "hyper-vertical" and "anti-domestic"? (Oct. 01, 2004)
God's Peculiar People | Historian Grant Wacker explains why Pentecostals survived and even flourished. (March 18, 2002)
Are Pentecostals Sex-Crazed? | John Steinbeck and Robert Duvall have portrayed them that way, and such criticism even came from inside the movement. But was it ever warranted? (Sept. 11, 2001)
Christian History Corner
Explaining the Ineffable | In Heaven Below, a former Pentecostal argues that his ancestors were neither as outlandish as they seemed nor as otherworldly as they wish to seem. (Aug. 31, 2001)
Should We All Speak in Tongues? | Some say speaking in tongues is proof of 'baptism in the Holy Spirit.' Are those who haven't spoken in tongues without the Holy Spirit? (March 6, 2000)
A Peacemaker in Provo | How one Pentecostal pastor taught his Congregation to love Mormons. (February 7, 2000)
More on Pentecostalism from CT sister publications include:
Whither Pentecostal Scholarship? | The overlap between "people with the Spirit" and "people with Ph.D.'s." (Books & Culture, May/June 2004)
El Espiritu Santo | Exploring Latino Pentecostalism. (Books & Culture, May/June 2004)
A Global Pentecost | The fastest-growing religious group? (Books & Culture, March/April 2002)
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.