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God over Google: Pentecostalism and our search for answers

There's a generation now turning to the web to find the answers we once asked our parents. Good thing God is indeed God over Google.

I recall being a younster at age 11 when first becoming interested and puzzled by youth leaders describing Pentecostalism and asking me about my lack of experience with Spirit-baptism. After being asked on a mission by one of my leaders, "have you been 'empowered' by the Spirt?", I remember on my return going to my Father, an elder in our bretheren church: "Dad, I want to be empowered by the Spirit."

He gave me a big black reference Bible and showed me how to used the concordance. "Look it up in the Bible" -- seemed like straightforward advice at the time, and I went away feeling that if I could just nail down what the Bible said about this experience, I'd be a step closer to getting what I was obviously missing.

I went straigh back to my bedroom and sat on my bed attempting to look up the word 'empowerment' in the back of this old bible, of course with no joy. And with no idea why I might find nothing under the word 'empower' in the Bible at all, and having nowhere else to turn, I went back to my youth group leaders and friends, asking them for the answers.

That moment of frustration--sitting alone on the bottom of my bunkbed with no adequate access to a proper understanding from either my Father or from the Bible--that was the beginning of what became a 2 year slide into Pentecostalism, as I turned and came more and more under the influence of those with first-hand testimony, relying increasingly on their stories of their experiences.

In September 2006, some fifteen years later, I looked back on that bible flicking moment and had the realisation that if I was that 11 year-old again, but in the present day, I know that now I would have turned at that moment, not straight back to my friends, but first, of course, to Google!

And that's where the idea for this blog came from. And it's the reason I'm continuing to write and post-out to a world of online searchers who are now looking to the web and their social media networks for answers.

I'm looking to be there for those 'young ones' out there who are asking the questions that I once was, who are now going to Google and typing in "how to be empowered by the Spirit?". Hopefully more and more seekers asking these questions will increasingly be finding their way to my site, where they can get some more adequate answers than I first did at that crucial and vulnerable time, now twenty years ago.

The contents of articles in this blog to-date have investigated topics including: the Pentecostal Movement, Pentecostals and their beliefs, the Day of Pentecost, the Charismatic movement and Charismatics, Evangelical beliefs and the Holy Spirit; in particular special focus is given to the origin and history of the Pentecostal movement, baptism in the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, gifts of the Spirit and miracles, divine healing and the Word of Faith movement, prosperity doctrine and health-wealth teaching, the Praise and Worship movement, guidance, revelation and hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit.

INTRO

  • What is Pentecostalism
  • Why talk about it
  • More information


  • ORIGINS

  • Why origin is important
  • The dawning of Pentecostalism
  • The history of tongues
  • The theology of John Wesley
  • The legacy of Edward Irving
  • The Holiness movement
  • Why Pentecostalism began
  • How Pentecostals saw themselves
  • Why Pentecostalism was successful
  • How Pentecostalism developed
  • Australian Pentecostalism


  • SPIRIT BAPTISM

  • What Pentecostals believe
  • The basis of Pentecostalism
  • What the Scriptures say
  • What is it & what it does
  • The Apostles' experience
  • The day of Pentecost - The Event
  • The day of Pentecost - The Promise
  • The day of Pentecost - The meaning
  • The examples in Acts - Part I
  • The examples in Acts - Part II
  • Tongues and Spirit-baptism
  • The pattern of tongues in Acts
  • Why tongues were given
  • Filled with the Spirit
  • 'Witness' in the Book of Acts


  • GIFTS

  • What Pentecostals believe
  • The Pentecostal basis
  • Speaking in tongues
  • 1 Corinthians 14
  • Mark 16:9-20
  • Miracles
  • Healing
  • Prophecy
  • John Wimber changes his mind


  • PROSPERITY

  • Changing views on money
  • What Pentecostals believe
  • Reformation
  • Perfectionism
  • Divine Healing
  • New Thought
  • Word of Faith
  • A critique
  • A corrective
  • How to get really rich
  • Americanized Christianity
  • Neither Poverty nor Riches
  • How to pray


  • WORSHIP

  • What Pentecostals believe
  • Why Stephen died
  • What is worship
  • Why and how
  • Why we meet
  • What's at stake
  • Do we need the Bible
  • The centrality of Preaching
  • Prophecy & preaching
  • Music in church


  • GUIDANCE & DESTINY

  • What Pentecostals believe
  • Experiencing guidance
  • Listening to the Spirit
  • The Purpose Driven Life
  • The Gospel Driven Life


  • PROS & CONS

  • Positive characteristics
  • Negative tendencies


  • BARNETT & JENSEN

  • The Quest for Power
  • The Bewildered Believer
  • What Neo-pentecostals believe
  • Reading the Bible
  • The Holy Spirit in John
  • The Acts Passages
  • Holy Spirit and Conversion
  • Weakness and Power
  • Pentecostals and Conservatives


  • FOUNDATIONS

  • John Owen on the Spirit
  • Where to draw the line
  • The Answer for Pentecostalism
  • Starting from the Beginning
  • The Problem of Predestination
  • God, Evil & Sovereignty


  • TESTIMONIES

  • My Story
  • Mark Strom
  • James Brinkhoff


  • CORRESPONDANCE

  • Motives?
  • Born again at Pentecost?
  • Pentecostalism from Wesley?
  • Prosperity doctrine from Branham?


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