When Will the Untold Stories End? Another Entry for Black History Month

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Guest essay by Priscilla Pope-Levison Around the turn of the nineteenth century, Emma Ray and her husband L.P. experienced conversion to the Christian faith at an African Methodist Episcopal church in Seattle, Washington.Not long after, they experienced that distinctive, instantaneous experience of the holiness movement called sanctification. In her autobiography, Twice Sold, Twice Ransomed,  Emma describes a jolt like a lightning bolt that struck her head and coursed through her body "from … [Read more...]

Life After a Shooting: The Metamorphosis of a College Campus

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Recently, I published this essay at Huffington Post. I republish it here, in case you haven't read it. It is June 5th, 2014, a Thursday night, 7 PM. My daughter and I walk onto campus. We are numb. The auditorium is packed, so we walk along the side row to the front stage, where we sit, facing out, peering over an altar of candles, at a sea of faces. They are numb, too. Just hours earlier, a shooting took place on our campus, and we have gathered to pray, to grieve, to grapple. We … [Read more...]

Mark Driscoll Needs a Prophet of His Own

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For thirteen years, I've worked at a college that lies a stone's throw from Mars Hill Church, where Mark Driscoll holds court. Now that court is crumbling amidst charges of financial impropriety and abuse of power.Driscoll has said he's changing. No more social media. No more funneling funds to become a best-selling author. No more "angry young prophet.” More accountability to trusted friends.The first three suggestions are absolutely necessary. It's the fourth suggestion--more a … [Read more...]

Intimacy with God and a Blindfolded Boy

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After the evening’s lecture, I trundled off to the men’s room. When I returned, not five minutes later, nearly everyone had gathered at the front of the room. People were praying for each other, laying hands on each other, talking quietly with each other, while a pianist played riffs lightly in the background.This is the quintessence of the Vineyard movement, which began under the leadership of John Wimber in the 1970s. It’s a strange—and inviting—mixture of Pentecostal and Quaker elements. T … [Read more...]

Cars, Planes, and Gospel Grenades: the Technological Tactics of Women Evangelists

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Last week, I asked Priscilla Pope-Levison, author of Building the Old Time Religion: Women Evangelists in the Progressive Era (NYU Press, 2014) to contribute a post for Women's History Month. Here is her second post, a riveting account of the entrepreneurial spirit of Florence Crawford, whose evangelistic association is alive and well today. ________________ I thought I’d seen it all: Maria Woodworth-Etter, who fell into forty-five minute trances with her right arm raised above her head, swa … [Read more...]


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