Magazine article International Bulletin of Mission Research

To the Ends of the Earth: Pentecostalism and the Transformation of World Christianity

Magazine article International Bulletin of Mission Research

To the Ends of the Earth: Pentecostalism and the Transformation of World Christianity

Article excerpt

To the Ends of the Earth: Pentecostalism and the Transformation of World Christianity.

By Allan Heaton Anderson. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2013. Pp. xviii, 311. 64 [pounds sterling] / $99; paperback 16.99 [pounds sterling] / $24.95.

Pentecostalism has changed the face of world Christianity, most visibly in the non-Western world. The attention given in recent scholarship to Pentecostal Christianity and its various versions of charismatic renewal is testimony to the growth and influence of a movement that, until half a century ago, was on the margins of world Christianity. To the Ends of the Earth, part of the Oxford Series on World Christianity (edited by Lamin Sanneh), is a welcome addition to Allan Anderson's already impressive collection of writings on Pentecostalism.

Pentecostalism is distinguished from Roman Catholicism and historic Protestantism by its emphasis on the experience of the Holy Spirit as normative in church life and worship. "The experience of the Spirit and belief in world evangelization are hallmarks of Pentecostalism," Anderson writes, along with the belief of Pentecostals that they are "called to be witnesses for Jesus Christ in the farthest reaches of the globe in obedience to Christ's commission" (1). This thought informs the title of the book as Anderson presents stories from across the world showing how--even within Western contexts, where Christianity is on the decline--Pentecostal forms are keeping the hope of the faith alive. In nine chapters the book covers history, as well as missiological and theological issues that have turned Pentecostal/charismatic Christianity into a world religious force. Various chapters deal with missions and migration, women and family, the Bible and community, and preachers and entrepreneurs. …

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