Quick review: the Pentecostal & charismatic century

  • Sumo

Eyewitness Remembers the Century of the Holy Spirit, AnEyewitness Remembers the Century of the Holy Spirit, An by Vinson Synan

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this for two reasons. Firstly, the author, Vinson Synan, writes in a most affable style. Secondly, I valued the insider’s perspective he have me (I am not charismatic or Pentecostal, but Synan was very involved in a number of key events).

It’s very informative on the Third Wave (John Wimber, Vineyard, Toronto Blessing, etc), as well as how US Pentecostals sought to bridge their racial divide. Synan’s expertise in history comes to the fore in these sections.

I was disappointed with how soft he was on prosperity teaching. He even puts forward the extraordinary argument (p. 115), ‘if it’s so evil, why does it have such a vast following?’

The book can be theologically naive, at times – and I don’t say this because I am not Pentecostal. For instance, Synan suggests there’s little difference between trinitarian and non-trinitarian theology.

Overall, I’d recommend this as a tour through twentieth century Pentecostal history, given by one who loves that history and lives inside it.


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