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September 16, 2008

The ABCs of AOG

A helpful primer on Sarah Palin's denominational ties.

Sarah Palin's vice presidential candidacy launched Pentecostalism into the spotlight because of ties to the Assemblies of God denomination.

"Pentecostalism has been described as evangelical experience on steroids," reporter Dan Harris wrote for ABC.

Rich Tatum, who attends an Assemblies of God church, wrote a piece for Christianity Today explaining the denomination's history and theology, in contrast to media reports of Pentecostals.

"There's the usual report of tongues, faith-healing, and 'end times' - threateningly caricaturized as 'a violent upheaval that ? will deliver Jesus Christ's second coming,'" Tatum writes. "Then again, news accounts of 'rational faith' have been rather scarce."

Tatum writes that about one in four Christian believers worldwide are Pentecostal or charismatic. "Their four core doctrines are a belief in salvation, divine healing, Jesus' imminent "second coming" (along with the rapture, tribulation, and the millennial reign of Christ), and that the "baptism of the Holy Spirit" is a divine gift freely available to all believers," he writes.

"But while Palin may well have been 'a longtime member of the Assemblies of God,' she has not regularly attended an AG church since 2002," he writes. "And a lot can change in six years."

Comments

An article in the March 10 issue (08) of The National Review put the % of Pentecostals in Kenya as 57% Not of Christians, but ALL Kenyans! Also observing that "60 years ago there was hardly a Pentecostal to be found in Africa!" Some growth, I'd say!
John S. Stevens