From the earliest time I can remember on up through High School I was a member within a Pentecostal Church. It was full of mostly great experiences with some bad experiences mixed in as well. For various and sundry reasons I eventually came to the point where I no longer identified myself as a Pentecostal. It was not that I disliked “Pentecostals”, or for that matter liked Non-Pentecostals better. I simply chose to not identify myself with any particular denomination or tradition over another in a formalized sense. Of course being that this was the particular Christian expression that I grew up in, I did have many critiques of Pentecostalism as one from the inside.
This new book comes along, and when seeing the title, “A New Kind of Pentecostalism: Promoting Dialogue for Change
, my first thought was that I had no interest to read about any kind of reassertion of the kind of Pentecostalism of which I was familiar with. Nor did I want to read a book about Pentecostalism over against the other great Christian traditions and movements as if Pentecostalism were the elite expression of true Faith so to speak. I was happy to have discovered that neither of these ideas were present within this book. In fact, quite the opposite was true. Samuel hopes to affirm many of the great strengths of the Pentecostal movement, but there is no elitist snobbery found in this book.
Sam opens his conversation with a very broad definition of what it means to be “Pentecostal”. He tries to show how it can be something all Christians ought to take ownership of in its deeply rooted biblical context. He is quite bold in his critique of the movement at large. Sam brings plenty of challenging points to the conversation concerning the common pitfalls within the Pentecostal and Charismatic movement. And he follows through with just as much constructive guidance for the way forward. I highly recommend Sam Lee’s book, A New Kind of Pentecostalism: Promoting Dialogue for Change for those who at any point have identified with Pentecostal and or Charismatic expressions of the church. He has a prophetic message that needs to be heard.
A few of the topics he covers is Emotivism, Exaggeration, Performance, Miracles Sings and Wonders, Financial Ethics, Denomination and Leadership, Bible Interpretation, Dialoging with the Other, Dialoguing with Islam, and Social Justice. In all of his talking points there is a great spirit of dialogue that is encouraged, within and outside of the church.