The next pope, Pentecostalism and the Global South


The next pope, Pentecostalism and the Global South
By David Briggs
The Association of Religion Data Archives

But what may matter more than the nationality of the next pope, according to some scholars, is his commitment to allowing the growth of lay leadership and culturally sensitive worship that is at the heart of the success of the Pentecostal movement.

“A new pope would do well to officially sanction some of this, rather than resist it,” said Donald Miller, the series editor of “Global Pentecostalism and Charismatic Christianity” and the executive director of the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at the University of Southern California.

Pentecostalism can bring order, stability and hope, particularly for individuals living in poverty or who are part of an urban migration cut off from their rural roots, Miller and Tetsunao Yamamori note in their book “Global Pentecostalism: The New Face of Christian Social Engagement.” The emphasis on the value of personal spiritual experiences and what generally are the greater opportunities to serve than in a Catholic church also develop commitment and a sense of self-worth.

The next Catholic pope may want to consider the importance of increasingly legitimizing the role of all people in the congregation, promoting practices such as healing prayer and integrating culturally meaningful music and forms of worship within congregations, scholars say.

Todd Johnson, director of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity, said the training of local Catholics is critical both to evangelization and to address concerns that worship not veer from church teaching into areas such as advocating a prosperity gospel equating faith with health and wealth.

The Catholic Church’s “hope of spreading is through the development of lay leadership,” he said.

This was written before Pope Francis was chosen, and may prove to be somewhat prescient. In what might be described as a marketplace of ideas, the Catholic Church needs to offer what it understands as Truth - no compromise, no weaseling - and serve its people (their needs, educating them in their faith, bringing them into ministry). That latter part seems to be an area in which the Catholic Church has come up short in recent decades. I’m not attacking the Catholic Church in saying this. It is widely true in many/most major Christian groups, including Pentecostals and charismatics.


Pete, that was a very interesting OP, I read the linked article very carefully, clicked on all the links in the article, and bookmarked the article and some of the article’s links.

I am very interested in this subject and have posted about it before, and I have several times mentioned 3 books I am now reading by Dr. Philip Jenkins, the main
one is The Next Christendom: The Coming Global Christianity.

Here is a good summation of one of the sections in this book.

Meanwhile, a full-scale Reformation is taking place among Pentecostal Christians—whose ideas are shared by many Catholics.

Pentecostal believers reject tradition and hierarchy, but they also rely on direct spiritual revelation to supplement or replace biblical authority. And it is Pentecostals who stand in the vanguard of the Southern Counter-Reformation.

Though Pentecostalism emerged as a movement only at the start of the twentieth century, chiefly in North America, Pentecostals today are at least 400 million strong, and heavily concentrated in the global South.

By 2040 or so there could be as many as a billion, at which point Pentecostal Christians alone will far outnumber the world’s Buddhists and will enjoy rough numerical parity with the world’s Hindus.

** The booming Pentecostal churches of Africa, Asia, and Latin America are thoroughly committed to re-creating their version of an idealized early Christianity (often described as the restoration of “primitive” Christianity).

The most successful Southern churches preach a deep personal faith, communal orthodoxy, mysticism, and puritanism, all founded on obedience to spiritual authority, from whatever source it is believed to stem.

Pentecostals—and their Catholic counterparts—preach messages that may appear simplistically charismatic, visionary, and apocalyptic to a Northern liberal.**

For them prophecy is an everyday reality, and many independent denominations trace their foundation to direct prophetic authority.

Scholars of religion customarily speak of these proliferating congregations simply as the “prophetic churches.”

[Jack Note: The above quote is not from the book, but from an article Dr. Jenkins wrote for the Atlantic Monthly. The quote up there is located about 20 paragraphs down in the article.]

The Atlantic | October 2002 | The Next Christianity | Jenkins

Like it or not, the face of one huge-enormous rapidly growing segment of Christianity is going to be Pentecostal and Charismatic.

/Big Grin … While I am a solid old line Presbyterian who greatly loves and appreciates calm carefully reasoned doctrinal sermons where one can hear a pin drop …

… I nevertheless will pass on the job of trying to get Christendom’s **177 million Catholic Charismatics and possibly Christendom’s some 1,000,000,000 Pentecostal Charismatics to become stern old line Calvinists and take up reading Calvin’s Institutes devotionally and to cease being Charismatics …

… Tell ya what! I’ll try to get them to read Calvin’s Institutes devotionally the day after Christendom has totally defeated Secularism and Secular Humanism whose numbers are now roughly equivelent to the numbers of Nazis in Berlin. :smile:

**Btw, I picked up that “177 million Catholic Charismatics” stat from either the OP’s main article or that article’s links.

The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity (Future of Christianity Trilogy): Philip Jenkins: 9780199767465: Books
(As of today 3/16/2013, $13.00 will put it in your mailbox. Includes S/H)



Pentecostal believers reject tradition and hierarchy, but they also rely on direct spiritual revelation to supplement or replace biblical authority.

I have to dispute the emphasized clause in this sentence. It is somewhere between a gross over-simplification and false. I have not doubt the one could, if one knew where to look or searched long enough, find a fringe-Pentecostal or -charismatic congregation somewhere in the US where Jenkins statement was true. But the having to know where to look or the lengthy effort necessary to find such a congregation would demonstrate my contention. Looked at from the other direction, were one to walk into congregations from any number of the mainstream Pentecostal denominations or a mainstream charismatic congregation (the charismatic movement never produced an actual, formally organized, denomination) - e.g. Assemblies of God, Foursquare Gospel, one of the Calvary Chapel congregations or a Vineyard Fellowship congregation, one would find the Bible taught as [the authority for teaching and practice. Question their accuracy and depth of understanding the Bible as you will, the Bible, not private personal revelation, is their sole authority.

I would add that, while I’m not an academic who has studied Christian history, I have spent nearly 25 years in charismatic church congregations. It’s “where” I’ve lived. Jenkins, OTOH, I think needs to be read with some caution. He’s a former Catholic, now an Episcopalian, and is a prof at a (possibly only nominally) Baptist university. Even if he’s one of the many US Episcopalians who is severely grieved and troubled by the recent course of that denomination, Jenkins’ background does not seem to me conducive to a thorough understanding of Pentecostals and charismatics, and may incline him toward misunderstandings. Not that I think Jenkins to be inclined toward John Shelby Spong’s Why Christianity Must Change Or Die (which is one of the books I’ve been reading recently - to understand his ideas, not because I agree with him). If Pentecostal history interests you, Jack, Vinson Synan might be an author worth checking out. I was surprised to find that at least two of his books published in the 1970s are still in print or available used.



Agreed. Jenkins does need to be read with some caution, actually a lot of caution. I make personal remarks in the margins of the books I read, or on sticky notes that I leave taped to the pages, and I have quite a few “against-Jenkins sticky notes” in my copy of *The Next Christendom: The Coming Of Global Christianity. *

Agree fully here with your: “Mainstream Pentecostal denominations or a mainstream charismatic congregation … Assemblies of God, Foursquare Gospel, one of the Calvary Chapel congregations or a Vineyard Fellowship congregation, one would find the Bible taught as [the authority for teaching and practice. Question their accuracy and depth of understanding the Bible as you will, the Bible, not private personal revelation, is their sole authority.”__Pete

However consider this: You were talking about mainstream Pentecostal denominations and mainstream charismatic congregations **in America **, while Jenkins may well have had in mind the various Pentecostal and charismatics in the developing nations of Central and South America and Africa. In The Next Christendom he discusses the extreame positions held by some of those churches in these areas and even warns about the possiblitiy of losing definitive Christianity if the church embraces the worst of such stuff as being Christian, for example some of the African churches mix in voodoo with Christian faith and practice.

Scary stuff to be sure. (How’d ya like to have a pastor who was 20% Witch Doctor!! … comes to church with live chickens and a butcher knife etc etc :howler:

Btw Pete, have you read the book titled, Why John Shelby Spong Must Change Or Die, by the Apostle Paul.

And another book titled, Why John Shelby Spong Must Change Or Go To Eternal Hell, by God.


Regarding Jenkins being a Whiskeypalian I mean an Episcopalian … LOL … I’ll keep that fact ever in mind as I read his stuff.

Btw, here is what the Jenkins-Man looks like:

Well, its a decent haircut … decent eye glasses …

… I can beat him tying a knot in a necktie though, ha.

Pete, thanks for the suggestions regarding Pentecostal history and Vinson Synan, I’m heading over to amazon to check him out.


I think whats coming out of Africa, Central America, and South America is probably going
to be 15% a real nightmare for Christendom similair to this right here:


But I will put up with the nutty 15% ↑ in order to get the good 85% ↓ that I think is coming.
Here is an example of the good, or at least what I perceive to be the good:**

The huge Nigerian Church. The content of this sermon is very good. I hold the position that you will
appreciate a lot of this sermon content! :smile:

So all things considered … our side is moving on up … and Jenkins is just documenting it for us!

Say Pete, how would you grade (1 to 10 scale) that post up there as to flair, bang, pizzaz, variety, passion, energy, color, enterrtainment ? LOL 3? 4? 8? 9? 10?




comes to church with live chickens and a butcher knife etc etc

Well, if anyone in the congregation is a good cook …

Seriously, though, a “Christian-Animist Hybrid” (I think voodoo is basically a form of animism) simply isn’t Christian. Training up leaders in places where every Christian is a new Christian, resources are scarce and the people are far from such resources is a perennial problem, dating back pretty much to Acts Chapter 2. Thankfully, many Christian organizations are working to educate these new Christians (and not all are of the Pentecostal-charismatic flavor, BTW). Besides Spong’s book (bought at a used bookstore, he didn’t get any $$ from me), I’m also reading The Heavenly Man. It is at once scary and amazing. One of the things mentioned in the book is the extreme scarcity of the Bible and Christian leaders in 1970s China and God’s faithfulness to believers there and then.


I didn’t know that Calvary Chapel was charismatic. I have not seen any evidence of that in any of their literature. Admittedly, I see little. I am helping support one of their missionary families - which also happens to be my niece & her family. Calvary Chapel grew out of the “Jesus People.”


So true Pete, the hybrid group itself would not be Christian, but the individuals caught up in the hybrid group might well be born again Christians, ignorant to be sure, yet still born again, by which phrase “born again” I mean genuine Christians.

You agree?

This is a crucial issue for me, and I would like to know your thoughts on this issue.

Here tis:

It appears the New Testament recognizes the existence of regenerated carnal Christians, for example: In 1 Cor. 5:1,5 the man was having sex with his mother (or step-mother …good land! …lets hope it was his step-mother… shudder) and Paul says in verse 5, “hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.” This carnal Christian ended up in Heaven, I take it.

In the Black and Hispanic Christian Churches huge numbers of young mothers are unmarried with several children (in some white Christian Churches too), my point is that I think we are forced to admit that true born again Christians can have some serious moral problems, and some serious problems with gross ignorance as well, for example I am convinced that the Snake Handling folks are true born again Christians that are operating out of amazing ignorance.

My larger point is that the Christendom now developing in the Third World is far less that ideal with their strong emphasis on healing services, on unknown tongues, on modern day miracles, on claims to raise the dead, on subjective mysticism with regard to the leadership of the Holy Spirit telling them specifically what to do and not to do, a desire to get high on religious emotion, a craving for religious ecstasy, a desire to cling to some of that “ancestor” stuff, and even some mild voodoo stuff ~ what they call the benign good voodoo. Look, these tens of millions of people are very poor, uneducated, many are physically ill, they have problems galore, cannot read, and are ignorant, **yet I have to believe that the majority of them are true born again Christians that have been saved in spite of all their sins, flaws, and ignorance. **

:smile: … Our modern day churches have no shortage of born again Christians who have been over-eating for decades. They have substantial bellies that testify to their losing struggle with glutony. They’d be carnal Christians at least in some areas. We don’t “put them in Hell” so to speak … I know some true born again Christians that are killing themselves with 2 packs a day (Marlboros) /BIG GRIN

** My Conclusion: **

**I think of the Christendom that is forming in the developing countries as being very immature, significiently carnal to a significient extent, ignorant about many important Christian doctrines, overly emotional, etc etc, yet I accept them as my brothers and sisters in the Lord as I do the modern day Christians who sit in Christian Churches, and out of ignorance thinking they’re helping poor people, vote for the liberals, or carry around 50 pounds of overweight, or inhale 2 packs of the Good Weed Of The Earth (what Tolkein called “Old Toby”) per day, :smile: and generally demonstrate, as do we all, a highly flawed Christian character.

You agree?

Exactly! And a much needed work that is to do. May the good Lord speed it along.

Thanks Pete, I went over to amazon and read some reviews on The Heavenly Man. Scary is right.


I didn’t know that Calvary Chapel was charismatic. I have not seen any evidence of that in any of their literature. Admittedly, I see little. I am helping support one of their missionary families - which also happens to be my niece & her family. Calvary Chapel grew out of the “Jesus People.”

Per that great spiritual resource, Wikipedia, Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa and Chuck Smith were Foursquare, but went independent in 1968. Their teaching regarding baptism in the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the spirit are definitely Pentecostal-charismatic (but not charismaniac, IYKWIM). Similarly, in a way, Youth With A Mission was founded by Loren Cunningham, an Assemblies of God pastor, but he wanted YWAM not to be affiliated with the AoG. It’s pretty Pentecostal-charismatic in belief and practice, but does not draw students solely from Pentecostal-charismatic. My daughter’s Discipleship Training School had a Finnish Lutheran (the state church) student and another Lutheran student from WI; they must have had some religious culture shock!


In that case, all the “non-charismatic” (ie, holiness churches that do not follow the “tongues” movement) churches that preach “entire sanctification” could be considered charismatic - or am I missing something somewhere? The church I belong to (Nazarene) was originally called the “Pentecostal Church of the Nazarene”, but they dropped the “Pentecostal” part of the name, because that term was used by those who pretty much prescribed speaking in tongues as necessary to a holy life.
On edit: This was just at time that the “tongues movement” was taking off, and they seemed to all use the word “Pentecostal” in their name.


For me, I am not charismatic. I guess I would have to describe myself as a contemplative. In the Catholic church, there are many forms of prayer–vocal, sung as in Gregorian chant or sacred music, charismatic, mental, and contemplative. I have been to charismatic Masses on a number of occasions. I don’t like when people get wild, crying, and throwing themselves on the floor. But, in many of these Masses, the charismatic prayers (“speaking in tongues”) is done quietly and is controlled by the priest. I don’t really care HOW one prays, as long as one prays. I don’t like it when charismatics claim (and many charismatic Catholics claim this–I’ve even heard priests say this) that unless one is charismatic that one is not fully Catholic. The Gifts of the Holy Spirit, of charismatic prayer (healing or speaking in tongues), ended with the death of the last Apostle and is only a recent phenomenon in the Catholic Church. Again, I don’t have anything against charismatics, but I don’t agree that it is the only way one can pray.


There is nothing in the Bible to back this up. The gift of speaking in tongues, as recorded in the Bible, was given only when there were people around who understood that unknown tongue. I disagree that the gifts of the Spirit ended with the death of the Apostles; I believe they are alive and well today. The problem with many of today’s charismatics is that they concentrate on one or two gifts. In First Corinthians, Paul says to "covet earnestly the best gifts. And healing and speaking in tongues are down low on the gifts of the Spirit.

(1 Corinthians 12:31) But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

And this is followed immediately by this:

(1 Corinthians 13:1) Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

(1 Corinthians 13:2) And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

(1 Corinthians 13:3) And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

(1 Corinthians 13:4) Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

(1 Corinthians 13:5) Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

(1 Corinthians 13:6) Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

(1 Corinthians 13:7) Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

(1 Corinthians 13:8) Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

(1 Corinthians 13:9) For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

(1 Corinthians 13:10) But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

(1 Corinthians 13:11) When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

(1 Corinthians 13:12) For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

(1 Corinthians 13:13) And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

I believe the gift of tongues is given in this day and age. And this is what I think is an example of it:
A missionary was sent to a foreign field with a difficult and not widely known language. He mastered that language in 3 months.
I have also heard of incidents where someone was able to speak in a different language - just briefly - because someone whose language it was needed to hear what they had to say. But the “gift” was just for the moment. I have heard of what I believe is “legitimate” speaking in “unknown” tongues, but it has been during a period of private prayer.

However, as has been discussed elsewhere (in this thread, I think, and maybe other places), I will not judge someone else because I think their beliefs are in error; God knows their hearts, and thanks be to Him, He is the one who judges, not us. I believe there are many people who know the Lord, but have limited knowledge. I grew up in a church where it was thought necessary to immediately make mature Christians out of new believers. Unfortunately, that resulted in driving many away.


The Pentecostal movement broke into several denominations, some of them in the Holiness tradition, some more in the baptistic direction. And humans being humans, charismatic personalities were relevant to some of the splits.

There is no clear Scriptural basis for saying that the miraculous gifts of the spirit ended with the death of the last of the Twelve, nor with the completion of the Bible. As for the “best” gift, I always liked the definition one charismatic movement teacher used: whatever gift(s) met the needs at hand. Whether obviously miraculous, like healing, or seemingly natural, like teaching or giving, each gift is a gift of the Holy Spirit, not “merely” a natural ability.


An astute and wise observation, imo, Susanna, Biblical based too.



To CT and the thread:

I have a point to make on only the gift of healing: I think a decent case can be made that its not God’s will that everybody be healed.

I’ll let the following passage make the point for me:

Start quote.

"The final myth I want to debunk is the myth that God wants everyone to be healed. Let me give you a couple of examples where godly people experienced sickness. Paul, when writing to Timothy, told him that he had “Left Trophimus sick in Miletus.” (2 Timothy 4:20)

I can’t believe that a man of faith, like Paul, [would] leave a sick friend behind rather than healing him! That doesn’t sound like Paul was much of a friend, does it? We know that Paul had the gift of healing. So why would he leave his friend while he was still sick? The only possible answer is for some reason the Lord choose not to heal Trophimus.

What about Timothy? He was not only one of Paul’s dearest friends, he was also Paul’s spiritual son. So you know Paul had a special love for Timothy. Yet there was a time when Timothy was sick, and Paul either didn’t or couldn’t heal him.

Timothy was pastoring a church in Ephesus and probably had to deal with all sorts of problems. Because of the problems that come with pastoring, Timothy developed a stomach problem… Paul’s recommendation to Timothy was to “Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.” (1 Timothy 5:23)

Knowing Paul, I’m sure that he had previously encouraged Timothy to go to God with any sickness. And yet, when God didn’t heal Timothy, Paul didn’t rebuke him for not having enough faith to be healed. Instead, Paul accepts the fact that God didn’t see fit to heal him instantly, so he reminds Timothy to use a common remedy of the day.

The Gift of Healing
End quote.



Of course, healing is still a part of the ministry of the Christian Church, based upon:

“Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up.” (James 5:14-15)

Though, many Christian Churches do not actually use oil or exclusively use the elders, they have prayer meetings and they pray for the sick, and the Sovereign God heals those He wants to heal and for reasons we may never understand in this life.

** (And of course at some point, healing is going to fail. All we Christians are going to get sick and die. ** :smile:)

(Who would want to live down here forever anyway!!) :smile: :smile:




At the same time, we are going to be completely healed!


/smile … I take it you mean “completely healed” when we zoom on past Pluto, so to speak, you know as in heading for Heaven.

Ha, … LOL … I told one of my children the other day that, “Your mother and I are getting into heating pads and cold packs these days, you know, for all our sore muscles and aching joints and such like.”

What was that Billy Graham said awhile back? Ah yes, he said, “Getting old is not for sissies.” … LOL … So true.



The Pentecostal movement broke into several denominations, some of them in the Holiness tradition, some more in the baptistic direction. And humans being humans, charismatic personalities were relevant to some of the splits.

I cannot believe I forgot one other really sad divisive factor! At the beginnings of the 1906 Azusa Street Revival - per Frank Bartleman, who was there and wrote about it - blacks and whites and whomever mixed freely. But it didn’t last in the face of the racism/racialism/segregationism of turn-of-the-century America. One of the largest Pentecostal denominations in the US is the traditionally black Churches of God in Christ (possibly the most widely known member thereof might be Andrae’ Crouch; many/most hymnals used in Evangelical churches will have one or more songs written by him; Andrae’ and his twin sister Sandra pastor a church in the LA area).


Whatever each of you want to believe, just remember not to negate the Scriptural Truth, and add to Scripture ideates not otherwise stated. Know the actual meanings of specific words used such as prophecy, tongues, utterances. ALL prophecy has been given and there is no need for anymore. The prophecy as stated in Scripture denoted preaching of the existing prophecies. Tongues ‘Glossia’ is languages not ecstatic utterances. There is an utterance which is a prayer utterance of the Holy Spirit in commune with the Father.


Good points, NJC!


That is sad indeed, **but **(/grin … I like that word “but” 'cause it can introduce good things :smile:) … but thats gonna change as the decades roll along.

There will come a time in this land area (they might not call it America at that time, but they might) when White European Christians and Black Christians and Hispanic Christians are going to blend into one unified Christian culture.

Can I prove that to be true? :cool: I think I could if I could get people to master the contents of 4 or 5 major works in my library.

Can I get them to do that? Heh heh, probably not! /grin

Hmmm, Andrae’ Crouch, he be mighty warbler and can deliver a song better than any LA songbird.

Speaking of LA, I feel led (the author of the leading could be last night’s double sausage pizza :smile:) to do you a favor and link you to a video.

Watching this magnificient video I am gazing upon America’s Magnificient City …

… and I am thinking about all the churches in this huge-enormous city and surrounding area …

… and I am thinking about all the true born again Christians living in and around this city …

… and I am thinking about the Sovereign God and about His plans to grow and develope and expand His Church in America and the whole world …

… In other words, I trust God with Urban Developement even though America’s top Prophet Of Doom, the lovable Mr. Pat Buchanan, does not. /grin

Incredible Video From Downtown Los Angeles California Ca Night SEE INFO BELOW - YouTube