Discover why tongues of Pentecost divide—and how they can unite the church of Jesus Christ.
Glenn Brown’s book Pentecost Revisited introduces a theological debate that is long overdue. With heartfelt conviction, this veteran Assemblies of God pastor lovingly, but boldly, declares that his church has long mistaken the true purpose of speaking in tongues.
Intelligently and clearly, Brown describes his doctrinal differences with the Assemblies of God concerning speaking in tongues as the initial physical evidence of Spirit baptism. Drawing on over fifty years of experience as an Assemblies of God pastor, Navy chaplain and missionary, he presents a sound scriptural and historical alternative position. Brown asserts that the value of Spirit-inspired language is significantly increased when manifested in keeping with God’s purposes for this gift. He offers biblical evidence that tongues, correctly understood, will reverse Babel and help unite the body of Christ around the world.
Brown’s developing disagreement with his church’s dogmatic tradition concerning speaking in tongues came to a head in Vietnam in 1968. His conscience prompted him to honestly admit that he could no longer affirm his allegiance to the proposition that every valid baptism in the Holy Spirit must be initially evidenced by speaking in tongues. He has since come to see that there is a far more significant purpose for this manifestation. That important purpose relates to Christ’s prayer for unity within the Church and is a major theme of this book.
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During his research, Brown discovered that in order to adequately validate his Pentecostal position, he must deal with the following interrelated topics:
- Are supernatural events possible?
- Are the gifts of the Spirit and accompanying miracles limited to the apostolic age or are they intended to be operative today?
- Must the baptism in the Holy Spirit always be initially evidenced by tongues?
- If tongues are not intended to be the sign of Spirit baptism, what is their purpose when they accompany an outpouring of the Spirit?
- What does Jesus say is the evidence of being baptized in the Holy Spirit?
- Why is there ongoing division between Pentecostals and other evangelicals?
- Why do atheists so bitterly oppose intelligent design?
- How does speaking in tongues combat racial bias and promote Christian unity?
Brown’s search for truth led to a struggle with his church, the Assemblies of God, where he encountered an entrenched religious tradition and its attendant bureaucracy. However, he also encountered understanding, loving spiritual leaders whose active intervention on his behalf protected him from the “protectors of the tradition.”
Brown is a convinced Pentecostal believer who longs to see believers become all that the Lord intended when He dispatched the Holy Spirit two thousand years ago. He says, “For the sake of my church’s future, I am now constrained to bring this issue into the public arena. I do so with love and with the secure knowledge that an honest search for truth will be honored by Him who is Truth Personified.”