Good evening and thank you. I want to begin by thanking the executive committee of the Society for inviting me, and thank Kim Alexander in particular. When Kim invited me over a year ago, little did she know the time and energy she would have to put forth defending that invitation. I am especially thankful that the committee in general, and Kim and Arlene Sanchez-Walsh in particular, took a stand for academic independence, freedom, and integrity.
I also want to thank a few others. I reckon myself to be a bit of a populist theologian – it’s why I spend more time writing blog posts than I do on completing my dissertation. So, one of the ways that I prepare for a gathering like this is to ask the blogosphere and the twitterverse what they think, and the responses are almost always enlightening and edifying. On this topic in particular, that online community has been particularly helpful, filling in some of the many gaps in my knowledge of Pentecostalism. Some people in this room have been kind enough to chime in on those discussions, including one who heartily recommended Amos Yong’s book, which I have truly enjoyed. My thanks to Baker Books for rushing me a review copy of that title.