Preaching Pentecostalism to its Reformed despisers

After an exchange about the place of Pentecostalism vis a vis its Reformed counterparts on Facebook the other day, I ran across the following passage which demonstrates that Pentecostalism (and the larger strand of pietistic evanglicalism of which it is a part) is not merely a bunch of tongue-talking, holier-than-thou fundamentalists (though it can be those things), but rather a faithful, vibrant tradition of interpreting Scripture.

Hal KnightIn his book A Future For Truth: Evangelical Theology in a Postmodern World, Methodist theologian (and, I’m happy to say, my friend) Hal Knight writes:

Evangelicalism has been a populust movement, and this has led to a variety of excesses, including shallow thinking. But this has also been its glory, not only in that masses of people have been reached with the gospel across social, economic, and racial lines, but that persons society have written off have been taken seriously as leaders and thinkers, at least within their segment of the movement. It is by no means obvious that the highly educated [Charles] Hodge, who was opposed to women’s rights and believed slavery to be among the adiaphora, was a more perceptive interpreter of Scripture than the Holiness revivalist or African-American slave preacher who thought otherwise. Even so, the awakening tradition has included many highly educated thinkers – Edwards and Wesley were theologians of the first order, and Finney was no intellectual lightweight.

From Henry H. Knight III, A Future For Truth: Evangelical Theology in a Postmodern World (Nashville: Abingdon, 1997), 34.


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