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Signs And Wonders [Hardcover]

By Alexander Paul (Author)
Our Price $ 22.91  
Retail Value $ 26.95  
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Item Number 404703  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   192
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.1" Width: 6.1" Height: 0.7"
Weight:   0.9 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Apr 1, 2009
Publisher   Jossey-Bass/A Wiley Co.
ISBN  0470183969  
EAN  9780470183960  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
An authoritative and accessible examination of the fastest-growing religious movement in the world today.
Combining personal stories and sound scholarship, Paul Alexander, a young scholar with a Pentecostal background, examines the phenomenal worldwide success of Pentecostalism. While most other works on the subject are either for academics or believers, this book speaks to a broader audience. Interweaving stories of his own and his family's experiences with an account of Pentecostalism's history and tenets--including its strong early pacifist traditions?Alexander provides a unique and accessible perspective on the movement.

Publishers Description
Combining personal stories and sound scholarship, Paul Alexander, a young scholar with a Pentecostal background, examines the phenomenal worldwide success of Pentecostalism. While most other works on the subject are either for academics or believers, this book speaks to a broader audience. Interweaving stories of his own and his family's experiences with an account of Pentecostalism's history and tenets, Alexander provides a unique and accessible perspective on the movement.

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More About Alexander Paul

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Paul Alexander is the founder of Pentecostals and Charismatics for Peace and Justice, a multiethnic, international, and ecumenical network of pastors, laypeople, academics, missionaries, and students. He teaches at Azusa Pacific University.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Protestantism > Pentecostal   [911  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Worship & Devotion > Charismatic   [1267  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Well-balanced and thoughtful introduction to Pentecostalism  Jun 28, 2009
This is an easy-to-read, down-to-earth book with careful and thoughtful analysis. I enjoyed reading it and highly recommend it. The author points out the serious flaws of name-it-and-claim-it, get-rich-quick Pentecostals, and he also wrestles with the reasons why Pentecostalism might be appealing to so many people.

I think the comment about this book by Harvey Cox from Harvard Divinity School is exactly right, "When I teach about religion in the current world situation the most frequent question I get asked is, 'But why is Pentecostalism growing so quickly and in so many places?' I try to explain, but after reading this book my answer can now be much more complete and well grounded. This is the book that answers that question. It is fair, accurate, balanced, and written in an accessible style. No one seriously interested in the fastest growing Christian movement in the world can afford to miss it."

I also agree with Martin Marty from the University of Chicago, "I urge the reading of Paul Alexander's 'Signs and Wonders' as the second-best introduction to Pentecostalism, the first being 'being there,' moving as it does between technical subjects made comprehensible and obvious topics rendered subtly."

Finally, a helpful and critical review was written by Gregg Brekke, an editor at the United Church of Christ ([...]). Brekke had this to say, "Rather than a treatise on why you should become a Pentecostal or a defense of fringe religious behaviors, 'Signs and Wonders' is a careful explanation of how some Christians experience Pentecost - what they claim is God's presence through the Holy Spirit in everyday living.

Labels of fanatic, emotional and ecstatic often attributed to Pentecostals don't stick to Alexander or his writing. He is a scholar - and one who has struggled greatly not only with the perceptions and practices of Pentecostalism but with Christianity itself.

Alexander received his PhD in religion from Baylor University. He studied with famed Mennonite pacifist John Howard Yoder and was deeply influenced by the ethical arguments of Stanley Hauerwas. Along the way, he lost his faith in Christianity. For many years he described himself as a "Christian atheist" - ethically drawn to Jesus' teachings, but quite certain God didn't exist...."

I was raised in a Pentecostal church and I know the good and not-so-good (there's plenty of the latter, and Alexander doesn't avoid it at all). It's clear throughout the entire book that Alexander didn't write it to convince people to be Pentecostals, but if you keep an open mind the stories and analysis might stir you.
Everybody's crazy except you and me...  May 10, 2009
...and I'm not too sure about you! Suppose you were in a room with nine crazy people, all of whom believed the same craziness, except for you, of course. Would 90% of the room be crazy, or would you be crazy? Take your pick.
But, to get back to the book, Alexander puts forth the proposition that hope and healing stories are appealing and you can present your problems to God through prayer, believing your wishes will be granted (p. 16). The program appeals significantly to the working classes , about 60% of this sector participating in glossolalia (p.25). Most practicioners have witnessed at least one miracle (up to resurrection of the dead)and are happy to tell you about it again and again until their savage lust is satisfied. This missionary zeal is evident both on the personal level, main line church infiltration, and on the mass market level in poverty stricken countries. "The Pentecostal prosperity gospel appeals to hungry Christians."
For Harry Potter fans, which the author is seemingly or not, spiritual warfare involves battling and casting out demons, which are apparently ubiquitous. (Don't forget to use the name of Jesus to ease them out the door...)
In a world full of misery, Pentecostals manage to engender hope and worship joyfully (p. 131).
The author wraps up saying Pentecostalism is the freedom to weep, dance, hope, and experience a better life. "No wonder it's contagious" (p. 149).
As with most professors, the author left out demographics. At my job, and sometimes I think I am a social worker, a youngster about one third my age, told me about his girlfriends, and discovering that he already had more children than I did and that he was just getting started, I realized I had been dealt a losing hand in the Darwinian genetic pool.
Thus, I am going to extrapolate, without specific census data, that this group begins breeding earlier and more frequently than its more mainstream counterpart, thus ensuring, after a few decades, it will become a greater percentage of the overall census, just on birthrate data alone.
Alexander's book is interesting in some respects, but, I suspect, it is more a lengthy tract than an objective examination of the subject matter.

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