A. J. Tomlinson: Plainfolk Modernist by R. G. Robins

By R. G. Robins

A.J. Tomlinson (1865-1943) ranks one of the prime figures of the early Pentecostal circulate, and prefer such a lot of of his cohorts, he used to be as advanced as he used to be colourful. Arriving in Appalachia as a house missionary made up our minds to uplift and evangelize negative mountain whites, he stayed to develop into the co-founder and leader architect of the Church of God (Cleveland, TN) and the Church of God of Prophecy, which including their minor offspring now represent the third-largest denominational family members inside American Pentecostalism. R.G. Robins's biography recreates the realm within which Tomlinson operated, and during his tale bargains a brand new knowing of the origins of the Pentecostal circulate. students have tended to view Pentecostalism as simply one amongst many anti-modernist routine of the early 20th century. Robins argues that it is a misreading of the movement's origins-the results of projecting the modernist/fundamentalist controversy of the Nineteen Twenties again onto the sooner non secular panorama. looking to go back the tale of Pentecostalism to its right ancient context, Robins means that Pentecostalism may still rightly be visible as an outgrowth of the unconventional holiness circulate of the past due 19th century. He argues that, faraway from being anti-modern, Pentecostals tended to embody modernity. Pentecostal modernism, despite the fact that, used to be a operating type or ''plainfolk'' phenomenon, and it's the plainfolk personality of the flow that has led such a lot of students to mislabel it as anti-modern or fundamentalist. in the course of the compelling narrative of Tomlinson's existence tale, Robins sheds new mild on late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century American faith, and gives a extra subtle lens during which to view the non secular dynamics of our personal day. v

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Morrison in Louisville) set the tone for a boisterous chorus of publications. The holiness press offered an invaluable forum for communication and persuasion and—in symbiotic concert with the assortment of faith homes, bible schools, urban missions, camp meetings, associations, and traveling evangelists on which it reported—served to consolidate the loose coalitions that together composed American holiness. 4 As a general rule, however, the further removed it was from the upper firmament, the more militant the movement’s personality became.

Though putatively ecumenical, it behaved in a most unecumenical manner, denouncing other denominations while magnanimously inviting all to come, regardless of affiliation. Like a start-up enterprise bent on gaining a toehold in a tough market, it endorsed its own brand of “ecumenism”: a commitment to proselytize all competitors, without discrimination. The leadership of that movement, furthermore, attracted precisely the kind of “enterprising young men” (and women) described by the Rev. ” In the name of holiness, thousands of young men and women forsook local allegiances for translocal ones and persuaded others to do likewise.

43 America’s postbellum generation witnessed an astounding expansion of its social infrastructure, as a ramifying network of arteries spun out to nourish a burgeoning national and international market. Under the aegis of that market, Americans strove to integrate ever wider breadths of physical and social space and in the process accelerated the growth of a mass culture. 44 Americans in general and the Northern middle class in particular found the pace exhilarating. ”45 “Progress,” of course, brought malaise to the rich and misery to the poor on a scale that boggles the mind.

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