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Evangelist of Pentecostalism: The Rufus Moseley Story

Dr. Camp moved to Macon, Moseley’s home town, where he could access the old Macon newspapers and tract down persons who personally remembered Moseley and could share their stories (a quickly falling number). The fruit of that labor has been his splendid work, Ineffable Union With Christ: Living in the Kingdom.[22] It was not a matter of merely copying the article and putting together an anthology. Moseley dictated his articles, making for highly informal writing, so Camp had to edit the articles for clearer reading. (Like St. Paul, Moseley’s original articles had long, run-on sentences.) Ineffable Union is an anthology of Moseley’s articles from the period 1927- 1937. Camp promises to do further editions covering Moseley’s work until his death in 1954. In effect, within the next few years, most of Moseley’s writing should be accessible.

What is still needed is an anthology of the Moseley article from various Christian Science journals from the earlier period in his life when he attempted to bring the Christian Science movement into biblical orthodoxy. He gave up that attempt and resigned from the Christian Science in 1910, just after his mystical experience with Jesus. But his articles from that period are interesting, and really not as unorthodox as many Evangelical readers might assume. Rather, he was trying to fit a consistent idealist perspective with the biblical text. I read Moseley’s Christian Science articles in preparation of my recent book on Agnes Sanford, but did not have time to do a careful analysis.[23]

Lastly, let me again strongly commend Dr. Camp’s book. Besides being an excellent selection of Moseley’s articles it contains a succinct biography of Moseley. I am looking forward to his promised follow up volume, Vital Union With Christ which is soon going to press.

 

PR

 

Notes

Portions of this article incorporate material published by the author in Agnes Sanford and Her Companions and his blog article, “Rufus Moseley (1870-1954): The Unheralded Evangelist of Pentecostalism.”

[1] On this see issue, see the debate in the Atlantic Monthly (August 1924) between Glenn Clark and the Rev. Kirsopp Lake, a well-respected liberal theologian of the era. Cited in my work, Agnes Sanford and Her Companions: The Assault on Cessationism and the Coming of the Charismatic Renewal (Eugene: Wipf and Stock, 2015) 141-144.

[2] Examined in detail in De Arteaga, Agnes Sanford, chapter 14.

[3] Yes, some mystical experiences can be from the Evil One and deeply destructive and deceptive. Thus, discernment is needed to evaluate the experiences.

[4] J. Rufus Moseley, Manifest Victory (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1941) 22.

[5] Manifest, 31-32.

[6] Manifest, 32

[7] See my discussion of this in Agnes Sanford, chapter 9.

[8] This is by no means heretical, as the Church Fathers also loved Plato and his idealist philosophy.

[9] Cited in, Wayne McLain, Resurrection Encounter: The Rufus Moseley Story (Minneapolis: Macalester Park, 1997) 58.

[10] As I pointed out in my work, Agnes Sanford, 108-111, this way of prayer is indeed one of the ways that Jesus practiced healing prayer, for instance in Matt 9:24. Christian Science people never used the most common technique of healing prayer in the New Testament, the laying on of hand because it was too “material.” But in the 1900s, Christian Scientists were praying for the sick somewhat effectively, while mainline Christians were batting zero because of cessationism.

[11] Andrew M. Manis, Macon Black and White: An Unutterable Separation in the American Century (Macon: Mercer University Press, 2004) 127.

[12] Moseley, Manifest, 69.

[13] Compare Moseley’s experience in, Manifest Victory, chapter 5, with the experience by the great evangelist Charles Finney as described in his Memoirs (New York: A.S. Barnes & Co.) 1872, chapter 2

[14] Manifest, 80

[15] Quoted from the back cover to the paper edition of Rufus Moseley, Perfect Everything (St. Paul: Macalester Park, 1968).

[16] Glenn Clark, The Holy Spirit (St. Paul: Macalester Park, 1954).

[17] See, Frank Laubach, Prayer: The Mightiest Force in the World (Fleming H. Revell, 1946) 42, 44-45, 47-48.

[18] Glenn Clark, “The Holy Spirit,” Tape# CLg-2, (St. Paul: Cutler Memorial Library), talk from New Mexico CFO, 1954.

[19] Clark, The Holy Spirit, 15.

[20] “Glenn Clark and the CFO,” Sharing (Nov/Dec, 1992), 13-19. Then a more extensive and formal article in 2003, “Glenn Clark’s Camps Farthest Out: Schoolhouse of the Charismatic Renewal,” PNEUMA: The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies, 25:2 (Fall 2003), and final chapter, 14, of Agnes Sanford.

[21] (Minneapolis: Macalester Park, 1997). I had the pleasure of several extensive telephone conversations with before he passed away in 2007, a loss to Christian scholarship.

[22] (Bloomington: WestBow, 2016). Available on Amazon or from the publisher’s website directly.

[23] Some Christian philosophy major out there might be interested in taking up this task. Please contact Dr. Camp to make sure there is no duplication. He is on Facebook.

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Category: Church History, Fall 2017

About the Author: William L. De Arteaga, Ph.D., is known internationally as a Christian historian and expert on revivals and the rebirth and renewal of the Christian healing movement. His major works include, Quenching the Spirit (Creation House, 1992, 1996), Forgotten Power: The Significance of the Lord’s Supper in Revival (Zondervan, 2002), and Agnes Sanford and Her Companions: The Assault on Cessationism and the Coming of the Charismatic Renewal (Wipf & Stock, 2015). Bill pastored two Hispanic Anglican congregations in the Marietta, Georgia area, and is semi-retired. He and his wife Carolyn continue in their healing, teaching and writing ministries. He is the state chaplain of the Order of St. Luke, encouraging the ministry of healing in all Christian denominations. Facebook AnglicalPentecostal.blogspot.com

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