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Jeff Oliver: Pentecost To The Present: Worldwide Revivals and Renewal

Jeff Oliver, Pentecost To The Present: The Holy Spirit’s Enduring Work in the Church, Book Three: Worldwide Revivals and Renewal (Newberry, FL: Bridge-Logos, 2017), 320 pages, ISBN 9780912106366.

Jeff Oliver has taken on the ambitious task of chronicling the charismatic work of the Holy Spirit throughout church history. He has done this by writing a three volume book, Pentecost to the Present. He begins in volume one by writing about the activities of the Holy Spirit in the days of the apostolic church of the first century AD. By volume three his focus is the work of the Holy Spirit in the 20th and 21st centuries. Because I am interested in the more recent history of the work of the Holy Spirit I began by reading volume three.

Volume three is divided into six sections: “Pentecost … Again (c. 1901-1910),” “The Pentecostal Movement (c. 1906-1945),” “The Healing Revival (c. 1946-1960),” “The Charismatic Renewal (c. 1951-1980),” “The Charismatic Explosion (c. 1971-2000),” and “Into the Twenty-First Century (2001 and Beyond).”

The majority of the first section “Pentecost … Again (c. 1901-1910)” focuses primarily on two people, Charles Parham and William Seymour, and one mission, the Azusa Street Mission. The text contains information about the events leading up to beginning of the Azusa Street Mission and some of the things that took place there. Two of the things mentioned about the mission were the flames of fire that appeared over the building and the healings that took place inside.

The second section “The Pentecostal Movement (c. 1906-1945)” deals with the spread of Pentecostalism after the Spirit fell at the Azusa Street Mission. Some of the countries that it spread to were Argentina, South Africa, and Russia. Prominent Pentecostal figures from this time period are also discussed: Smith Wigglesworth, F. F. Bosworth, and Aimee Semple McPherson.

The third section “The Healing Revival (c. 1945-1960)” focuses on the ministries of some of the key individuals who were used by God to bringing healing to many. William Branham, Oral Roberts Jack Coe, and A. A. Allen are mentioned in this section.

Section four “The Charismatic Renewal (c. 1951-1980)” deals with outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the Roman Catholic and mainline Protestant churches. Some of the people God touched and used in a mighty way to spread the work of the Spirit in these churches are mentioned in this section: David Du Plessis, Harald Bredesen, Dennis Bennett, Oral Roberts, and Katherine Kuhlman. The parachurch ministry Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International, which was founded by Demos Shakarian, is also mentioned for its impact in spreading the Pentecostal message.

Section five “The Charismatic Explosion (c. 1971-2000)” includes information about a number of significant individuals and ministries that were active during this time period. In this section the author writes about the controversial Shepherding Movement, The Trinity Broadcasting Network, CBN, The 700 Club, the PTL Club, Pat Roberston, Jimmy Swaggart, the Word of Faith Movement, and the Prosperity Teaching among others.

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Category: Church History, Spring 2018

About the Author: John P. Lathrop is a graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and is an ordained minister with the International Fellowship of Christian Assemblies. He has written for a number of publications and is the author of four books Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers Then and Now (Xulon Press, 2008), The Power and Practice of the Church: God, Discipleship, and Ministry (J. Timothy King, 2010), Answer the Prayer of Jesus: A Call for Biblical Unity (Wipf & Stock, 2011) and Dreams & Visions: Divine Interventions in Human Experience (J. Timothy King, 2012). He also served as co-editor of the book Creative Ways to Build Christian Community (Wipf & Stock, 2013). Amazon Author page. Facebook

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