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Theological Roots of Pentecostalism [Paperback]

By Donald W. Dayton (Author)
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Item Number 45068  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   208
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.04" Width: 5.52" Height: 0.6"
Weight:   0.57 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 30, 1991
ISBN  0943575796  
EAN  9780943575797  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Pentecostalism is one of the most dynamic forces in twentieth-century Christianity. From fast-growing denominations such as the Assemblies of God to popular television ministries such as "The 700 Club," the fruits of Pentecostalism can be seen throughout modern Christian life. In this landmark study, Dr. Dayton explains how Pentecostalism grew out of Methodism and the nineteenth-century holiness revivals. He finds evidence of Wesleyan teaching in the classic writings of many Pentecostal leaders. He shows how Pentecostalism is rooted in the Wesleyan theological tradition, rather than being a contrived system of modern revivalistic ides. Martin E. Marty says in his foreword that Pentecostals "have no choice, it is clear from this book, but to see that there were . . . roots to the growth they reaped." He calls Theological Roots of Pentecostalism "a very important statement . . . one without which subsequent commentators on Pentecostalism are not likely to give intelligent accounts."

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More About Donald W. Dayton

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Donald W. Dayton (PhD, University of Chicago), now retired, taught theology and ethics at North Park Seminary, Northern Baptist Seminary, Drew University, and Azusa Pacific University. He lives in California. Douglas M. Strong (PhD, Princeton Theological Seminary) is dean of the School of Theology and professor of the history of Christianity at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle, Washington.

Donald W. Dayton currently resides in Lombard, in the state of Illinois.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > General   [6817  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Theology > General   [4167  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General   [8607  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Dayton Provides Interesting Background On Pentecostalism  Nov 10, 2006
I stumbled on to Theological Roots of Pentecostalism during a visit to Wesley Thelogical Seminary in Washington, DC. Dayton received an award from the faculty that day and he preached an interesting sermon at chapel on the many faces of Wesley. Later, I bought copies of this book and another of his books, Discovering an Evangelical Heritage.

Theological Roots of Pentecostalism appealed to me because I have recently become acquainted with a Pentecostal mission evangelizing muslims. As a Presbyterian, I was intrigued by the different style of worship and by the dedication of the evangelists that I have seen--also Pentecostals. I wanted to learn more about them.

Dayton raises several points that were insightful.

First, the Four Square gospel is very different. He describes a Pentecostal as someone who sees Christ as savior, Baptizer of the Holy Spirit, healer, and coming King (p 173). A typical Presbyterian views Christ only as Lord and Savior.

Second, the Pentecostal reads the books of Luke and Acts with special interest (especially Acts 2). The hermeneutic used is devotional (p. 23). Each verse is read as if the words "in my life" were appended.

Third, the discussion of the Latter Rain movement was thought provoking. The basic idea is that the gifts of the spirit were especially prominent during the the Apostolic period and would also reappear in the latter days. The reference to Joel 2:28 was taken to link women in ministry to the second coming.

Fourth, Dayton links the switch among American evangelicals, especially Pentecostals, from Post-millennial to Pre-millennial eschatology to a profound discouragement with the times. "The approaching end was signaled, not by progress, but by decline" (p. 163). This transition is important in the attitude towards evangelism and service that we see today. Those waiting to be raptured have less incentive to promote reform than those preparing the world to receive the King.

I enjoyed this book. Its take away points are likely to color my view of Pentacostals for a long time. I would recommend it to Christians curious about Pentecostalism and interested in the history of religion in America.
Not the best starting point  Jun 12, 2005
Judging by the level of citations this book receives in the academic literature I expected this to a very useful book. Overall however I was pretty disappointed. I think part of this is because the thesis is actually a little dated it is by no means clear that Pentecostalism finds its theological roots in nineteenth century holiness and higher life evangelicalism. Nontheless the book is a useful book to have particularly on the impact of the Wesley/Fletcher divergence. Also I did find the simple layout into the fourfold christological emphasis of Pentecostalism useful.

My only other gripe is that while this book is strictly a pre-pentecostal history amore sustained investigation of the actual links of the pre-pentecostal trends to the early Pentecostals would have been beneficial.
Good history but with several flaws  Jan 27, 2005
Donald Dayton clearly shows a vast knowledge of the Holiness and Pentecostal movements. This book was very informative and traced the Wesleyan roots that eventually birthed into the Pentecostal movement.
Dr. Dayton's thesis, however, lacks an holistic historical view. He sees through myopic lenses when evaluating the Pentecostal movement. The only roots he sees in Pentecostalism are Wesleyan ones. He completely fails to differentiate between the Wesleyan Pentecostals from up until 1910, and the non-Wesleyan Pentecostal denominations that formed after 1910 (the Assemblies of God, Foursquare, etc.). These groups did not emerge from Wesleyanism. Rather, they were the result of a more Reformed/Keswick theological theological system.
Just as the Holiness movement itself cannot be grouped together, the Pentecostal movement cannot be either. The Holiness movement had two sub-groups: the Wesleyan movement and the Keswick movement. Just the same, the Pentecostals must be separated into two groups: one being Wesleyan and the other being more baptistic/congregational/keswick in theology.
It is true that up until 1910 the Pentecostal denominations that emerged were Wesleyan. But after 1910 virtually all Pentecostal denominations were formed by Baptists or Reformed people who had received the Pentecostal experience. Dr. Dayton fails to realize the difference between the Assemblies of God and Church of God! Instead, he categorizes both denominations as being Wesleyan. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Although Donald Dayton is correct in identifying Wesleyanism in Pentecostalism, he is wrong when asserting that this was the strongest influence on modern-day Pentecostalism. In fact, over half of Pentecostals today are part of the stream of Pentecostals that emerged AFTER 1910.
Prior to 1910, the Pentecostal denominations were formed by people who came from Wesleyan groups. However, once this Pentecostal experience spread to Baptists, Presbyterians, and members of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, they also came into the Pentecostal movement, BUT without a Wesleyan theology.
These non-Wesleyan Pentecostals did not believe in entire sanctification and brought a pre-millenial eschatology to the movement. They were linked with their Wesleyan friends by an experience they commonly shared, but not by a common theological system. Therefore, although both groups were Pentecostal, both were started from different ends of the Christian spectrum. Prior to 1910, Pentecostals held the same views of the millenium held by Wesley. Therefore, a pre-millenial view of the return of Christ was NOT a Wesleyan extraction but a dispensational one.
I did like this book because it was informative, but it only really tells half the story. The truth of the matter is that Pentecostals cannot all be grouped together. To this day, there are both Wesleyan Pentecostals and non-Wesleyan. Sadly, Dr. Dayton has missed this and grouped all of them together as having the same heritage and roots.
Good for both historians and theologians  Apr 27, 2003
Dayton has written a history of theological developments, especially in the 19th Century, that led to the outbreak of Pentecostalism in Topeka, Kansas at the turn of the century. He begins with the Methodist roots in John Wesley and John Fletcher, and moves through Phoebe Palmer and the holiness movement to the development of two and three-blessing groups. The book gives good detail on the evolving of the doctrine of baptism in the Holy Ghost. He follows with chapters on the use of divine healing and the rise of premillenialism, which were two other key doctrines that Pentecostalism emphasized. Dayton intersperses Protestant hymns that show these changes, which is a nice touch.
Good: I appreciated Dayton's emphasis that Pentecostalism was not merely a spontaneous outbreak at the turn of the century, but a movement with deep roots. Though Topeka and Azusa Street were the key beginnings, the ground was ripe in America for something along those lines to happen somewhere. His chapter on changes in apocalypticism is also excellent. He describes how evangelicalism changed from being predominantly post-millenial to predominantly pre-millenial, a natural transition with the decline of nineteenth-century optimism.
Bad: From a Topekan's perspective, it would have been nice to have seen more history behind the Topeka events. Clearly this book is not intended as a history of Pentecostalism itself, but rather a tracing of its theological roots. Nonetheless, some inclusion of how these roots specifically played out in Charles Parham's teaching and ministry would have helped.
Opinion: I liked this book. It is best for those who are interested in theological issues, and would not be good for a lay study guide. For those of us who like reading theology and history it serves its purposes well.
Best Quote: This one is from Charles G. Finney: "Now the great business of the church is to reform the world - and to put away every kind of sin. The church was originally organized to be a body of reformers. The very profession of Christianity implies the profession and virtually an oath to do all that can be done for the reformation of the world. The Christian church was designed to make aggressive movements in every direction -- to lift up her voice and put forth her energies in high and low places -- to reform individuals, communities and governments, and never rest until the Kingdom and the greatness of the Kingdom under the whole heaven shall be given to the saints of the Most High God -- until every form of iniquity shall be driven from the earth."

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