THE 21ST CENTURY CHALLENGE

In 1928, the Bishop of the Pentecostal Holiness Church , J.H.King, gently scolded his church on the low attendance at a recent round of Bible Conferences: "...as long as we have a ministry that does not study the word of God and have no interest in Bible Conference work, we will have stagnation and death where such may live and labor. A non-biblical ministry is loud, noisy, empty and inefficient. May there place soon be vacant." (Advocate, June 21, 1928, pg. 1)

Author Richard M. Nanez, writing in Full Gospel, Fractured Minds, acknowledged the charges of anti-intellectualism made against Evangelicalism, and by extension the Pentecostal movement. In turn he had noted that Pentecostalism, in its first 100 years, created few works which addressed the life of the mind (Nanez, 86). Edith Blumhofer in her history of the Assemblies of God has noted that early Pentecostal schools constantly faced the challenge of being unable to find people educationally qualified and Pentecostal to teach in their schools (quoted in Nanez, 116).

What was needed was summed up by Arthur Holmes writing in The Idea of the Christian College (1975): "the student must realize that his education is a Christian vocation...a wholehearted response to God." (pg.51)

As the 21st century dawns, once again the crossroads are just ahead, God is after-all a God of second chances, and decisions await.  Should Pentecostalism and all people of deep faith, be in King's words 'loud, noisy, empty, and inefficient' or new millennia Paul's able to work in the realm of the spirit and the realm of the mind with equal facility and skill?

"Come let reason together..."

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