Series:

Jiayin Hu

The Local Church movement started by Watchman Nee in the 1920s in mainland China has spread to six continents, having transcended racial, national, linguistic, and cultural boundaries. Although Watchman Nee’s classic spiritual books have had an influence on the spirituality of innumerable Christians around the world, including Pentecostals, most scholars would not identify Nee as Pentecostal. When Witness Lee, one of Nee’s close coworkers in China, moved to the United States and brought the Local Church movement to the West, the practices of “calling on the name of the Lord” and “pray-reading” that he advocated became the focus of controversy. These two practices have confused many outsiders and led some to ask the question: Is the Local Church Pentecostal? This chapter investigates this question, as well as the spiritual practices mentioned above, from historical, theological, and empirical perspectives.