By R. G. Robins
A.J. Tomlinson (1865-1943) ranks one of the prime figures of the early Pentecostal move, and prefer such a lot of of his cohorts, he used to be as complicated as he used to be colourful. Arriving in Appalachia as a house missionary decided to uplift and evangelize negative mountain whites, he stayed to develop into the co-founder and leader architect of the Church of God (Cleveland, TN) and the Church of God of Prophecy, which including their minor offspring now represent the third-largest denominational family members inside American Pentecostalism. R.G. Robins's biography recreates the area within which Tomlinson operated, and during his tale deals a brand new figuring out of the origins of the Pentecostal circulate. students have tended to view Pentecostalism as in simple terms one amongst many anti-modernist activities of the early 20th century. Robins argues that it is a misreading of the movement's origins-the results of projecting the modernist/fundamentalist controversy of the Twenties again onto the sooner spiritual panorama. looking to go back the tale of Pentecostalism to its right old context, Robins means that Pentecostalism should still rightly be visible as an outgrowth of the novel holiness flow of the past due 19th century. He argues that, faraway from being anti-modern, Pentecostals tended to embody modernity. Pentecostal modernism, even though, was once a operating type or ''plainfolk'' phenomenon, and it's the plainfolk personality of the flow that has led such a lot of students to mislabel it as anti-modern or fundamentalist. in the course of the compelling narrative of Tomlinson's existence tale, Robins sheds new gentle on late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century American faith, and offers a extra sophisticated lens by which to view the spiritual dynamics of our personal day. v
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Extra resources for A. J. Tomlinson: Plainfolk Modernist
Nothing shall ever . . 11 A breach had opened in the holiness ranks, and no one articulated its social etiology more clearly than Thomas Nelson, founder of a Free Methodist splinter group known as the Pentecostal Bands of the World. ” Rightly divided, that text meant that the rich housed a “dead Christ” in their churches. “Vital Christianity,” by contrast, thrived only among the “virtuous poor” because wealth extinguished the “vital spark of real christianity”: Step into a . . fashionable, city church and take a seat among its wealthy members.
Peter Berger has described mainstream ecumenism as a form of market regulation, an attempt by the major religious players to restrain competition within their ranks. 56 But aggressive new entrepreneurs, bent on carving out a share of the market for themselves, had everything to lose and nothing to gain by observing rules that only protected the interests of the already entrenched. When viewed through a lens focused on the intersection of religion, modernization, and the marketplace, radical holiness snaps sharply into view.
18 In this and many other ways radical holiness reﬂected the optimistic mood of its culture, its giddy conviction that the present was the grandest age yet and that the future would be grander still. Science and Technology: The Valuation of Power Radical saints regarded the marvels of their day with the same mix of alarm and encomium common to their contemporaries. ”19 Yet, while acknowledging modernity’s unsettling effects, he paid homage to its “astonishing” achievements. Of course, when Nelson thought of modernity, he imagined modern science and technology—the touchstones of “civilization” and “progress” for late Victorians.