“I Will Pour Out of My Spirit Upon All Flesh”

An Historical and Theological Meditation on Pentecostal Origins

in Pneuma
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Scholars of Pentecostalism have recently debated pentecostal monogenesis (that is, a single origin) in contrast to polygenesis (or multiple origins). This essay examines contributions to the discussion by Allan Anderson, Michael Bergunder, Cecil Robeck, and Adam Stewart, and argues that polygenetic views find support through new evidence from pre-1900, proto- or paleo-pentecostal movements in diverse localities. Moreover, those who argue today for the importance of the Azusa Street Revival acknowledge this global complexity, and so the mono/polygenesis distinction might now be outmoded. The terminology of “Classical Pentecostalism,” in light of Bergunder’s analysis, confirms a pluralized pentecostal identity. The essay’s second, paradoxical claim is that polygenesis does not diminish the significance of the Azusa Street Revival but enhances it by underscoring the theme of “inclusive origins”—a theme presented here as a theological interpretation of pentecostal origins that builds on Walter Hollenweger’s “black origins” and Allan Anderson’s “global origins”—and yet moves a step further.

“I Will Pour Out of My Spirit Upon All Flesh”

An Historical and Theological Meditation on Pentecostal Origins

in Pneuma




Allan Heaton AndersonTo the Ends of the Earth: Pentecostalism and the Transformation of World Christianity (New York: Oxford University Press2013) 18–25.


Edward Irving“Missionaries after the Apostolical School,” in The Collected Writings of Edward Irving5 vols. ed. G. Carlyle (London: Alexander Strahan 1864) 1:427–523. Some later evangelicals such as C.H. Spurgeon and J. Hudson Taylor who did not adopt Irving’s view regarding charismatic gifts did agree that missionaries should go forth without prearranged financial provision as Irving had argued. See Brian Stanley “C.H. Spurgeon and the Baptist Missionary Society 1863–1866” Baptist Quarterly (1980): 319–328; Gary B. McGee “The Dilemma over the Apostolic Nature of Mission in Modern Missions” Encounter (Winter 2005); https://agts.edu/encounter/articles/2005_winter/mcgee.pdf; accessed March 3 2015.


Jouko Ruohomäki“The Call of Charisma: Charismatic Phenomena during the 18th and 19th Centuries in Finland,” Journal of the European Pentecostal Association 29 (2009): 25–40.




Adam Stewart“From Monogenesis to Polygenesis in Pentecostal Origins: A Survey of the Evidence from the Azusa Street, Hebden, and Mukti Missions,” PentecoStudies 13 (2014): 151–172citing 160–161.


Stewart“Monogenesis to Polygenesis” 168–170.


Noel GibbardOn the Wings of the Dove: The International Effects of the 1904–1905 Revival (Bridgend, Wales: Brytirion Press2002).


Allan Anderson“Emergence” 31. Anderson adds that “Ramabai was a woman who resisted patriarchal oppression in India and western domination in Christianity and was attracted to what a biographer calls ‘the gender-egalitarian impulse of Christianity’ ” (ibid.; citing Meera Kosambi ed. and trans. Pandita Ramabai through Her Own Words: Selected Works [New Delhi: Oxford University Press 2000] 18).


Everett A. Wilson“Sanguine Saints: Pentecostalism in El Salvador,” Church History 52 (1983): 189. See Ronald Wilfredo Luna “Transforming Espacios Culturales into Cultural Spaces: How the Salvadoran Community is Establishing Evangelical Protestant Churches” PhD diss. University of Maryland College Park MD 2008.


Ruohomäki“The Call of Charisma” 25–40.


AndersonTo the Ends of the Earth18–25.


Arnold DallimoreThe Life of Edward Irving: Fore-Runner of the Charismatic Movement (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth1983).

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