This week I’ve been reading the book: Signs and Wonders: Why Pentecostalism is the World’s Fastest Growing Faith. It wasn’t the first book on my “I really have to read this” list. But how does one not notice 1) The UCC’s Greg Brekke just reviewed the book. 2) The link to the review has prominent placement on the UCC website and 3) Much loved theologian Martin Marty wrote the introduction and 4) This Sunday is Pentecost and I’m wondering how this week’s sermon will take shape.
Some would say, “All this happening at the same time is evidence of one of God’s miracles.” Others would say “The marketing people have done their job well. You bought the book right?”
Yes. I bought the book. But I haven’t yet finished it.
So far I see an author, from the inside of Pentecostalism – and who is both a believer and a skeptic, exploring the appeal of this Christian movement. It’s a movement that has it’s roots right in this week’s Pentecost Bible reading from Acts 2:1-21.
Miracles, and the telling the story of miracles that have happened, are important in Pentecostalism. They are part of, it not the main source of, the attraction of the movement. (I can’t speak with certainty about what the author, Paul Alexander, will say, since I haven’t finished the book.)
But I would like to pose a couple of questions as they relate to the book and to this week’s reading.
- What stories do you share about miracles?
- What emotions does the term, “Pentecostal” bring up in you?
- What’s your experience of Pentecost?