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‘‘Stretching out hands to God’’: Origins and Development of Pentecostalism in Africa

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Chapter Summary

The many factors that might account for the origins of Pentecostalism in Africa should be distinguished from those that might explain its subsequent growth, for they are not usually the same. For instance, there is a perception that the earliest African independent Pentecostal movements arose because they reacted to dry formalism and rationalism in the European mission churches these churches had "lost the Spirit". The new Pentecostalism is a demonstration of a form of Christianity that appeals to a new generation of Africans. Their more prominent preachers promote internationalism and place high value on making overseas trips and hosting international conventions. The emergence of these churches suggests that there are unresolved questions facing the church, such as the role of "success" and "prosperity" in God's economy, enjoying God and God's gifts, including healing and material provision, and the holistic dimension of "salvation".

Keywords: Africa; God's economy; God's gifts; Pentecostalism



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