Pentecostalism is the fastest growing stream of Christianity in the world. The real evidence for the significance of Pentecostalism lies in the actual churches they have built and the numbers they attract. In Africa, Pentecostalism has virtually become the representative face of Christianity with even historic mission denominations 'pentecostalising' their otherwise formal liturgical structures to survive. This work interprets key theological and missiological themes in African Pentecostalism by using material from the live experiences of the movement itself. An important source of primary material for instance is the popular books written by the leadership of contemporary Pentecostal churches and their media programs. An example of this is that on account of its motivational hermeneutics the Eagle, rather than the Dove, has become the preferred symbol of the Holy Spirit in this nascent dynamic movement. The interpretation of themes from contemporary African Pentecostalism in this book reveals much about how as a contemporary movement, it is reshaping African Christian spirituality in the 21st century.
Endorsements & Reviews-
Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu has emerged as the foremost African scholar of Pentecostalism since the premature passing away of Ogbu Kalu in January 2009. His writings are prodigious and insightful, and the publication of this welcome new book is no exception. I think it is his best study to date, written with the maturity of a scholar who not only observes but also reflects. He writes with the heart of a Christian teacher for truth. It is all too easy for westerners to observe African Pentecostalism from a distance and be critical of their sometimes bizarre manifestations and emphases on health and wealth in the midst of a poverty-ravished continent. But Asamoah-Gyadu tells it like it is and from the inside, being both a critical and a sympathetic observer. This is a theology of African Pentecostalism as well as a rich description of its inner heart. Based on extensive research in Ghana and elsewhere, with many vivid descriptions of Pentecostal practices observed by the author, interspersed with theological and biblical reflection, and interacting with other scholars worldwide, this book is essential reading for anyone wanting to understand the rapidly growing and increasingly dominant form of Christianity in the vast African continent. African Pentecostals will recognize themselves in these pages. This is no caricature of their beliefs and practices, but is a faithful reflection of them. From the Foreword by Allan Anderson, University of Birmingham