Review of The American Pentecostal Movement: A Bibliographic Essay by David W. Faupel

This is a review of The American Pentecostal Movement: A Bibliographic Essay by David W. Faupel. David W. Faupel, of Asbury Theological Seminary, revised his previous essay that he wrote and presented for the 1972 Proceedings of the American Theological Library Association. You can read this short essay here. This revised essay might be seen as a critical introduction or a short thesis that has become The American Pentecostal Movement: A Bibliographic Essay. This project follows the structure and formatting, or publishing nature, which was first modeled by Donald Dayton’s in his release of The American Holiness Movement: A Bibliographic Introduction (read here).[1]

This essay engages many theological authors, historians and thoughts from the history of the Pentecostal Movement in America, but it most clearly responds to the work of William Menzies.[2] This bibliographical introduction to the Pentecostal Movement gives a great introductory and expansive thirty-thousand-foot-view of the varied understandings, growing history, shared convictions, and most prominent agreed upon expressions of the Pentecostal Movement in the United States. This essay certainly introduces the history and streams of larger networks of Pentecostal Churches such as the Assembly of God and the many other more known, but emerging church networks, which were significantly birthed out of the Latter Rain Covenant and Azusa Street Revivals. The American Pentecostal Movement by David W. Faupel also explores the many independent Pentecostal figures and voices, such as Oral Roberts and the Jesus People Movement, all which seemingly happen outside of the larger North American Church movement or a specific revival. This vastness of the Pentecostal Movement is what becomes hard to convey, and this essay is comprehensive and helpful, but it is certainly not as theologically and historically comprehensive as such work on the Pentecostal Movement like that Walter J. Hollenweger. Thankfully Faupel gives a critical overlook at many of the larger volumes and authors that have looked to explain and captivate the Pentecostal Movement.

It is important to point out that there is a significant and notable difficulty in defining what is a Pentecostal or defining what exactly gave rise, meaning and shape to the Pentecostal movement. Though, we can look at both the Azusa Street Revival and the Latter Rain Covenant as obvious shaping realities that gave birth to an expanded Pentecostal Movement. There is also difficulty to easily exploring what historically differentiated a Charismatic and Pentecostal – a debate that still goes on today, though, Faupel will hit on this with his overview of how theological ideas of the “finished work of Christ” has been instrumental to Pentecostal but not Charismatics.[3] This “finished work of Christ” was married to the Pentecostal Movement around the time of the Azusa Street Revival with the theological and pulpit ministry of William H. Durham, a Baptist English man.[4]  Though the Pentecostal experience has been hard to define, but its effects are seen on and across both Catholic and Protestant movements.[5]  

In addition to the “finished work of Christ,” as well as borrowed ideas from the holiness camps (which have disowned the Pentecostal Movement by large), we also find a movement that is marked and best defined by its notable and growing interdenominational cooperation, emerging centralization of power (opposite of its beginnings), black theological influence (and cross-cultural relations), borrowed (but spirit-infused) reformed and fundamental theology, glossolalia as an association of the Spirit’s baptism, equalitarian postures, deliverance ministry, global missions, and a focus on divine healing.

After reading The American Pentecostal Movement: A Bibliographic Essay by David W. Faupel, I highly recommend this for those looking for a general introductory overlook at Pentecostalism. This essay is one of the best at addressing all of these concerns from an introductory look, organizing the material around major trends and controversies that have appeared within the movement or movements, in a short and graspable read.[6]

Click to Read this Essay

Quotes and Highlights from this Essay


[1] David W. Faupel, “The American Pentecostal Movement: A Bibliographic Essay,” (1972), 5.

[2] David W. Faupel, “The American Pentecostal Movement: A Bibliographic Essay,” (1972), 5.

[3] David W. Faupel, “The American Pentecostal Movement: A Bibliographic Essay,” (1972), 14.

[4] David W. Faupel, “The American Pentecostal Movement: A Bibliographic Essay,” (1972), 14.

[5] David W. Faupel, “The American Pentecostal Movement: A Bibliographic Essay,” (1972), 9.

[6] David W. Faupel, “The American Pentecostal Movement: A Bibliographic Essay,” (1972), 10.

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