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In: Pneuma


Charles Parham’s racism is well known, but the relationship between his racism, his ecclesiology, and his doctrine of Spirit baptism and “missionary tongues” is still not fully appreciated. Early in the pentecostal movement, Pentecostals rejected Parham and quickly abandoned his doctrine of xenolalia alone as “the Bible evidence” of Spirit baptism. But Ashon Crawley’s recent work suggests that the logic of Parham’s racist/colonialist doctrine left a lasting mark on (white) pentecostal theology and practice. In the first parts of the article I explore the effects of racism and colonialism on Pentecostalism, and in the final section I respond to that history by proposing, in conversation with William Seymour’s teachings, a doctrine of mission and tongues-speech that purposefully contradicts the “white-settler” logic of Parham’s teachings.

In: Pneuma
In: Pneuma