Pentecostalism’s Long Road To Ruin?

         I have not attended a Society for Pentecostal Studies (SPS) meeting in 4 years.I resigned from the society before I became president in 2009. This society is where I first met many of my colleagues, whom I sure wonder from time to time—“just what kind of Pentecostal are you?” That’s fine; I like to keep people guessing. I will not reiterate why I left that society but it seems that the long game some traditionalists have to use the society to ferret out the theologically suspect and the … [Read more...]

Happy Easter–Culture War Is Over-If You Want It

There is so much one can and normally does for a traditional Easter post--I'll spare you that. For Easter and Christmas I ask for and so far have yet to see the end of the culture wars--to which I would say I am a conscientious objector in what amounts to a religious nationalism masquerading as theological certainty, but that is for another time.Next time I'll write about the apocalyptic language some of my brethren are deploying to grasp some sense of what is now and will be in the … [Read more...]

Happy Easter-Culture War is Over If You Want It

There is so much one can and normally does for a traditional Easter post--I'll spare you that. For Easter and Christmas I ask for and so far have yet to see the end of the culture wars--to which I would say I am a conscientious objector in what amounts to a religious nationalism masquerading as theological certainty, but that is for another time.Next time I'll write about the apocalyptic language some of my brethren are deploying to grasp some sense of what is now and will be in the … [Read more...]

So, yeah I’m Waiting For A Latino Pope

Like most scholars involved in the study of Latino/a religion, I have been asked about the ongoing papal conclave and who I would like to see come out on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica. "What is the new Pope going to do about the growth of Latino/a pentecostals and evangelicals in the Americas? What do you think he ought to do? Do you think a Latino Pope will stem the tide away from the Church?" I waited a bit and offered an answer that I am sure he was not ready to hear. 'I think a Latino … [Read more...]

Will (white) evangelicals veer left? Who cares?

There has been continued interest in the political behavior of evangelicals over the past few weeks. This discussion assumes that everyone who carries that mantle is white, and conservative, and that they read blogs about themselves, you would not know that there are any other demographic groups that comprise American evangelicalism other than whites if you cared to read the prognostications--and increasingly--I don't care. Simultaneously, a discussion on the politics of Latino/a evangelicals … [Read more...]

Memories of San Antonio

Memories of San Antonio

Occasionally, I want to open this space up to fellow travelers/colleagues/friends/brethren--and in this case, una hermana, a Tejana whose roots in the Pentecostal movement makes her voice unique and necessary--Erica Ramirez is a Ph.D student at Drew University, is quite an accomplished singer, and as I hope you'll agree--one of the future stars in our constellation of Latina/o religion scholars... Bienvenidos EricaIam a third generation Pentecostal woman, a Latina born in San Antonio.  I … [Read more...]

Watching Joel Osteen

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As part of my farewell to Texas tour, I made a pilgrimage to the Pentecostal mecca--the largest church in the U.S., Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church.  I have visited  hundreds of Pentecostal churches--as a researcher and as a worshipper, but for some reason, I was really looking forward to visiting Lakewood:  For one, Joel Osteen is one of the most fascinating figures in contemporary Pentecostalism, and the multicultural make-up of Lakewood, over 20,000 strong this past Sunday, was quite stri … [Read more...]


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