Introduction to The Routledge Handbook of Pentecostal Theology
Over the course of the twentieth century, it has become readily apparent that the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements are gradually emerging as a dominant force in global Christianity and have formed what is today a genuine theological tradition. The Pentecostal pioneers anchored their identity deeply in the day of Pentecost as narrated in the New Testament. For many, Pentecostalism marked an exceptional revival at the end of history, while some sought traces of the movement throughout the history of Christian thought. For others, Pentecostalism challenges the established theological conventions and traditions of our times by engaging the world with a steady emphasis on transformation, revival, and renewal brought about by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The different perspectives illustrate the perplexing phenomenon of Pentecostalism in transition from a grassroots movement to a global tradition in the span of less than one hundred years. The development of Pentecostal theology echoes this change.