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Thu, Mar 14, 1991

05 - History of Christianity

by Robert Dean
Conference at Tucson Bible Church
Series:History of Christianity (1991)
Duration:1 hr 4 mins

History of Christianity—5

 

As sincere as a lot of Christians are today their desire to preserve a Christian heritage in this country is almost misguided. What they are trying to do is impose almost a Christian way of life upon the nation. Also at the same time we see through the New Age movement and influence in Christianity a rise of mysticism, as well as a moral reaction among a lot of Christians to immorality that is going on outside the church. Any time in church history when there is a moral reaction to the immorality in the surrounding culture there is a tendency to go into legalism. So we have the same sort of dynamics taking place today with the rise of legalism, mysticism and the desire to have a so-called Christian nation. As we will see, there is really no such thing as a Christian nation because nations don't go to heaven. All we have is a nation that is influenced by the systems within that nation.

 

The Enlightenment was a time in western civilization when there was a rediscovery of human reason. It was fundamentally a look to reason as the ultimate authority in man's life and affairs. There are four areas of authority that people look to in their life: a) For knowledge they look to authority. This can be some kind of a traditional church authority or it can be through the authority of Scripture; b) through reason, their own thinking, their own ability. That provides the starting point for all knowledge. When reason takes over then reason becomes the criteria for judging any claims to truth. In the Enlightenment when reason became the criterion what happened was that miracles, the supernatural, the acts of God is Scripture, were thrown out because they didn't seem reasonable or rational to the human mind; c) Empiricism or experience. While these are a tremendous base for scientific study they don't arrive at absolute truth; d) Mysticism. This is built on intuition. How do you know it is true? Because I just have this gut level feeling that it is true. Often mysticism is irrational or even anti-rational. It will criticize any use of reason or logic in understanding Scripture. This is what we find going on today, especially in charismatic and Pentecostal circles—the sense that I am going to pray about it and let God speak to me directly from His Word, and somehow I am going to know what He says without going through the process of grammatical analysis, exegesis, historical study, etc. that allow us to use the reason that God gave us to understand the Scripture. Reason, then, is used under the authority of Scripture, not to judge Scripture. Experience is then used to help understand Scripture but not as the authority for judging Scripture. Mysticism is always the reaction to rationalism in history—always an overreaction. Reason and empiricism ultimately lead to skepticism. When people are left with no hope then they try to find hope apart from reason. That is what mysticism is. It becomes anti-reason, anti-rational, anti-logic. The end is the same as rationalism or empiricism and it never leads to truth; and when it becomes an authority within the church it always leads to destruction of Christianity—true, biblical Christianity.

 

In the 19th century the major movement attacking from within the church was religious liberalism. The modern liberal wants to take away from Scripture. He wants to use human reason as the ultimate authority to take away from the authority of Scripture. In the early church the Montanists claimed to be the mouthpiece of the Holy Spirit. They were the early mystics. In the Montanist movement there was a false emphasis on the Holy Spirit and on the continuation of revelation, and on experience of God. The result was that they thought revelation continued and they sought to add to Scripture. These are the basic trends and dynamics that go on throughout history. The rationalists seek to take away from Scripture, based on human reason, and the mystics and the experience-oriented people want to add to Scripture based on their experience, on the thought that they have some sort of special communication from God.

 

What was the background to religious liberalism? In the late eighteenth century a man by the name of Immanuel Kant, one of the most influential philosophers in all of history came on the scene and wrote a book called The Critique of Pure Reason. In this book he was trying to solve the problem of how we come to know truth. Was it through the use of reason? Was it through the use of experience? Was it through the use of some kind of external authority or mysticism. In his conclusion he said that all knowledge can be divided into two realms. One realm he called the numinal realm. In the nominal real there is universal knowledge about God, knowledge about eternity, knowledge about spiritual things. In the lower level was the realm of phenomena. According to Kant you could only know the lower level. Imagine a two-storey house with an upper and a lower level. How do you get from upstairs to downstairs? In Kant's system there is no staircase. You don't know what is going on upstairs. There is no way man can know universals, know anything about God or eternity or the spiritual because you can't experience them sensually. All we can do is guess that it is up there. So with Kant there was a shift in knowledge. Upstairs was the realm of universals and divine revelation would provide objectivity. You could have objective knowledge that was true regardless of anyone's experience. Downstairs was subjective truth, truth as you experienced it, truth as you see it, truth as it plays out in your particular life and experience. 

 

After Kant true objective knowledge is no longer thought to be possible among intellectuals and philosophers. This is why it was called the Copernican revolution of thought. Copernicus said that the solar system did not rotate around the earth but that everything revolved around the sun. So there was a shift in the central focal point of the solar system. With Kant the central focal point of truth shifted. It was no longer out there is the realm of objectivity; now the only way I know truth is by what I experience to be truth. This had tremendous ramifications. Theologically it meant that man could only know God by doing his duty. He can't know God directly; he can't know anything objective about eternity; he can't know absolute truth about spirituality or universal truth. All he is left with is the concept of moral duty, and that became the essence of religious meaning.

 

Influenced somewhat by Immanuel Kant as well as by his own background of pietistic Christianity is another German theologian by the name of Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768-1834). He is considered the father of modern religious liberalism. What he did was merge Calvinistic ideas of sin and the will and shifted them. Truth now was known and validated through experience and feeling. If you want to summarize Schleiermacher's theology with the word "feeling" that is how you come to know God. This was played out through the years as a firm based for the theology of love as opposed to objective theology of Christianity grounded in the justification work of Jesus Christ.

 

A little later on came Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855). He was the father of Christian existentialism. When Kant's philosophy is played out in life and you can't have objective truth you can't live, because you have to live as if there is objective truth. "Upstairs" is what gives meaning and definition and value to what is "downstairs." If you don't have universal concepts, if you don't have God, if you don't have objective truth about spirituality and about eternity then you have no meaning to the everyday affairs of life. All you are left with is a myriad of details with no unifying factor. There is no meaning and value left in life. Kierkegaard said this leads to skepticism, and if you push it far enough it leads to despair because there is no hope. Hope is based only on experience and feelings. Kierkegaard that the role of faith is that we just have to believe that these things exist. If there is no objective reality there we can't believe the tomb is empty because there is no objective reality there, that doesn't make sense. Human reason cannot validate the miracles claimed in the Scriptures. Human reason cannot validate the resurrection because we've never seen it. Therefore that must have been myth. That is the conclusion they come to. They must have thought that up just to somehow substantiate the claims they wanted to make about Jesus. So we have to have meaning and value and definition in our life; we have to live as if there is some God, some ultimate value, some ultimate truth. So we just have to have a leap of faith. We just believe it is true regardless of all the reason or any other evidence; we have to live as if it is true.

 

What then is the result of the influence of their thinking?

 

  1. First of all there was a rejection of objective truth. The intellectual elite of the day who are controlling the seminary classes and colleges and university classes in Europe rejected the notion that there is objective truth. The Bible begins to be just another human book that tells the story about how people learned about God. It doesn't tell objective truth about God's revelation to man but of men and women's experience in learning about God. See the shift? It no longer talks about objective truth, now it just talks about experiences. Therefore truth begins to be relative.
  2. Secondly, Christianity is redefined in terms of morality and social action. This is important. We see the same trend taking place in evangelicalism today. It is imperative that our sermons and Bible classes end up teaching people how to live the Christian life. Application is vital and necessary. But one of the trends today is to go so far with the application emphasis but the exegesis and sound theology are no longer discussed in detail in Bible classes and sermons. When all you have is application with the doctrine and the theology and exegesis behind it then all you are teaching in morality. Christianity begins to be reduced to nothing more than moral principles. Spirituality is more than morality. Any thing that an unbeliever can do is not spirituality. Unbelievers can be extremely moral and upright people, but that is not spirituality. The impact is to lead the church into social action, crusades and a post-millennial theology which views the church as God's mechanism for bringing in the Millennium.
  3. In liberal theology God became the father of all men—the universal fatherhood of God. What do the Scriptures teach? Jesus said to the Pharisees, "You are of your father the devil." John 1:12 says, NASB "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, {even} to those who believe in His name." He becomes our Father only when we put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ as our savior.
  4. They held to universal salvation. These all flow together. If God is the Father of all men we then have universal salvation. The atonement is not understood as a substitutionary atonement where Christ died instead of us, but as an example to show how much God loves us. So love—feelings, then take the central focus in liberal theology.
  5. Jesus is no longer undiminished deity and perfect humanity who died on the cross in our place, but He is simply a good man who showed the way through His example.
  6. The optimism of liberalism was dealt a death blow by World War I because they thought they were on the verge of bringing in the kingdom and when they saw all of the destruction and devastation of modern warfare they knew it wasn't so. So 19th century liberalism lost its strength but it continued to be felt.

 

What went on it American church history?

 

There are three periods in church history: the colonial era, the time up to 1787; the national era from 1787 to the end of the civil war in 1865; the modern era. The colonial era was governed primarily by a Calvinistic view of life. Even if a person was not a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ Calvinism was so dominant that it shaped the way he looked at life. After the revolutionary war they began to shift from a God-centered look at life and the world to a man-centered look at life and the world. It shifted to an Arminianism. Theology became man-centered. This lasted up until the civil war when it shifted from an Arminianism which was a man-centered Christianity to liberalism which was a secular view where God was no longer a vital part of the picture.

 

The national era: What took place in the years 1789 to the civil war with regard to the church? There were some negative trends that developed. There was the rise of Unitarianism. When the Pilgrims came over in 1620 and the Puritans came in 1630, they merged together to form a congregational church. As Congregationalism continued in the 1700s there was a split-off of Presbyterianism. In the Congregation denomination there was a split in the first great awakening between the new life who favored the revival because they saw the biblical emphasizes on the necessity of regeneration. The old life did not see the necessity of evangelism and regeneration and they continued on their course. By the late 1700s Unitarianism developed from old life Congregationalists. The intellectuals became enamored with the rationalism of the Enlightenment and they merged that with what was known as the England theology. The England theology developed as the fire of the revival of the great awakening died out. The theology slipped into error. They began to deny the total depravity of man, the necessity of substitutionary atonement; they shifted to a moral view of the atonement and shifted away from the need for personal faith in Jesus Christ. They merged that thinking with Enlightenment rationalism and Unitarianism developed. Unitarians believe that there is only one God, Jesus was a man, the references in the Scripture to the Holy Spirit were just of a spirit of God. They do not believe that man is necessarily a sinner, Jesus is simply a good man, the atonement was an example for man, and the Bible is simply a moral guide book, not divine revelation to man.

 

Unitarianism took its official stand at Harvard in 1805 when a Unitarian named Henry Ware was appointed to the chair of divinity. It was an endowed chair; it was always to be given to a Calvinist. Unitarianism then combined a little later on in history with the transcendentalism of Emmerson and with the moralistic, legalistic theological of the evangelicals to produce the crusader mentality of the abolitionism which led up to the civil war.

 

The next thing that happened at this time in history was what is called the second great awakening. The Congregationalist split was between new life and old life; the Presbyterian split was between old siders and old new siders. The merged back by the beginning of the 19th century and then they would split again into old school and new school. By the turn of the century Enlightenment thinking was dominating American universities. From 1790 up to 1800 evangelical Christians in the US thought that the country would never recover. There was skepticism on the college and university campuses, a denial of the supernatural, a rejection of the inspiration of Scripture, sermons that had been plentiful only a decade before were no longer taking place on the campuses; there was a lot of drunkenness on the campuses. But then a true revival began called the second great awakening. Timothy Dwight who was the president of Yale began to preach a series of messages against Deism. (Deism was the view that God simply created the universe and wound it up much like a clockmaker would wind up a new clock, and then He left it, and God is no longer involved in the affairs of man. It leaves out the imminence, the presence of God in everyday affairs and only emphasizes the transcendence of God) Students began to recognize that they were sinners and needed Christ as their savior. His chapel messages were extremely popular and there was standing room only.

 

At the same time other pastors around the country were preaching and the Holy Spirit began to move in people's lives in ways that had not occurred for thirty or forty years before and tens of thousands, perhaps more, were coming to know the Lord all up and down the eastern coast. In the west some of these men who were saved in these revivals decided they had the gift of evangelism and they hopped over to the mountains. They began to have tent meetings in the rural areas of Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio. This was a time of national expansion. They were spread out. They would work hard but they would have opportunities to come together—sometimes as many as 25,000 people. Those kinds of revival were full of emotional excess. Back in the east it was marked by a solid theology. The Presbyterians split into an old school and a new school. The old school maintained their distinction on the inerrancy of Scripture, the affirmation of original sin, of substitionary atonement, and they believed in evangelism. New schoolers were influenced by the England theology which denied original sin and held to an exemplary view of the atonement. Old schoolers held to orthodoxy and they controlled the theological faculty of the seminary at Princeton. It was that faculty under Charles Hodge, his son A. A. Hodge and his son Casper Hodge, along with Benjamin Warfield towards the end of the century that defined and maintained historical orthodoxy. Old school Presbyterianism was the bastion of historical orthodoxy in the US during this time.

 

Also at this time was the rise of one of the first truly American revivalists. His name was Charles Finney. He came from an area known as the burned-over district because it had had so many revivals. This period also produced Joseph Smith who founded Mormonism. Finney was not one of the greatest evangelists of our time because he did not believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ. He held to an Arminian view of man: that man cooperates with God in salvation; he held to a moral view of the atonement, he denied original sin and total depravity, he denied biblical regeneration, he taught perfectionism and that faith was a work. We cannot believe a man who believes those things, if that was what he believed for salvation, that he was saved. Yet he had a tremendous impact throughout the north during his time. Finney's theology was typical of the abolitionist theology before the civil war. In fact, the seminary he founded was the hotbed of abolitionism. It was not the evangelical theology of Charles Hodge who hated the abolitionists. It was not the orthodox theology of the old school Presbyterians that produced a movement in the US to do away with slavery. While Charles Hodge and men of that stripe did not approve of slavery they were not the extremists of the abolitionists. The abolitionists thought that if they could not get this problem solved through peaceful means then anything was okay to solve the problem. The end justified the means. The abolitionists used a lot of violence and stirred up the emotions of people, and that produced the civil war in this country. In England, on the other side of the Atlantic where true evangelicals spearheaded the movement to do away with slavery there was no violence. It was a very peaceful transition. Finney was one of the most influential men in this whole period.

 

Finally, it was during this time that there was the rise of various cults—Mormonism, Seventh Day Adventism, Jehovah's Witnesses and Christian Science.

 

In summary, fro the second great awakening was the development of certain other denominations such as the Cumberland Presbyterians, the Disciples of Christ who then merged with other groups and became the Church of Christ, which again split in 1906. The theology of that awakening was very Arminian and it produced the reasoning of two social reform movements: the abolition movement and the temperance movement. The emphasis of this theology was on morality, not spirituality. Morality was defined in terms of legalistic do's and don'ts. Because the movement and not evangelical it had a strong impact on the abolition movement and it created the context for the civil war. As the US faced the civil war the slavery question impacted all of the denominations. Just prior to the civil war the Presbyterian church split into the northern Presbyterian church or the Presbyterian Church of the USA and the southern Presbyterian church which was the Presbyterian Church of the CSA. After the civil war it became the Presbyterian Church in the US and the northern church became the United Presbyterian Church of the USA. They merged in the early 1980s to become the Presbyterian Church of the USA. Because of the impact of liberalism splinter groups had left both of those denominations over the years. The southern Presbyterian church did not go liberal in its theology until post-WW2. The northern church went liberal in 1927 and due to a power play the conservatives were taken off of the board of directors and removed from the faculty at Princeton seminary. At that time Princeton went liberal and the northern church went liberal. Out of those developed the Orthodox Presbyterian church in 1937, the Reformed Presbyterian Church Evangelic Synod in 1965, Bible Presbyterians in 1956, Presbyterian Church of America in 1982.

 

The same kind of thing happened among the Baptists. The American Baptists like to trace their origins back to Roger Williams. Remember the distinctions about a Baptist is that they believe in believer's baptism, post-salvation baptism, usually by immersion., and the separation of church and state. In 1844 due to the fact that several of the delegates to the National convention, and those who wanted to be missionaries came from slave-holding families in the south, the northern Baptists in their self-righteousness could no longer put up with that, so they split into southern Baptists and Northern Baptists. Southern Baptists have maintained their theological conservatism to this present day, having only recently had a reversal trend toward liberalism, and the conservatives have won out—such that just beginning last year some of the moderate liberal southern Baptists have split off and are beginning to form their own denomination. Among the northern Baptist church which went liberal at the turn of the century, it had several groups that split off in order to maintain a conservative theology. In 1932 the Greater Association of Regular Baptists formed. Then in 1947 the Conservative Baptist Association formed. In 1950 the Northern Baptists changed their name to the American Baptist Convention.

 

After the Civil War we move into the modern era, from 1865 to the present. At the beginning of this era there was the great conflict known as modernist-fundamentalist controversy. The issue is between liberalism and conservatism. As the denominations sent the flower of their youth off to Europe to war, when they returned they had rejected the conservative theology they had grown up with and they brought back a theology that denied the supernatural, denied that God had spoken in Scripture, denied miracles, denied substitutionary atonement, and denied the inerrancy of Scripture. There were various heresy trials that went on at the end of the 19th century and gradually the impact of liberal theology was such that the major denominations lost out and were swung over to a liberal theology. The conservatives, though, responded to it. One response was the Bible conference movement which emphasized themes such as prophecy. One of the tends of the 19th century was the development of dispensationalism from Darby in England. Darby was a Plymouth Brethren and as he put together in his thinking a literal interpretation of prophecy which led to a pre-millennial view, and a realization that there was a distinction between Israel and the church. As he merged those together he suddenly realized that if there is a distinction between Israel and the church, and the Tribulation is Daniel's seventieth week—which is for Israel—then the church is not going to be in the Tribulation. That led him to a recognition and a recovery of the pre-Tribulation Rapture doctrine, a hallmark doctrine of dispensationalism.

 

Prophecy was one of the major subjects covered in the Bible Conference movement. They had several meetings in the Niagara area. These were called the old Niagara conferences which went on every other year from 1868 to 1900. They spawned a group of conferences called the Northfield conferences. D. L. Moody was one of the speakers, C. I. Scofield, Arno Gaebelein. Louis Sperry Chafer, the founder of Dallas theological Seminary, was influenced by those movements. These conferences focused not only on the spiritual life but on what was called the Keswick doctrine of the higher life. Keswick theology taught that at the cross you were saved, but at some point afterward there was a second work of grace or time of rededication, at which time you went into a higher level of spirituality. It has an emphasis of yieldedness and presenting yourself to God, a walking the aisle sort of thing, plus their views on prophecy had a heavy impact on 19th century fundamental conservative evangelicalism.

 

A second development that was part of the response of the conservatives was the Bible Institute movement. Out of the Bible conferences came the realization that there needed to be conservative theological training for pastors and missionaries because the major seminaries they had been sending men to were going liberal. Great evangelists came out of this period, such as Moody, Billy Sunday and Rodney Gypsy Smith; they all followed the pattern of Finney. Finney's theology, remember, denied that the problem of man was original sin—man is sick but not dead. His will needs to be emotionally motivated. Finney said: How can we do that? Well, I know. After we preach a long sermon where everybody is getting truly tired and their mental defenses have broken down, then will have an emotional appeal and then continue to sing songs, 23 verses of Just As I Am, and have people walk the aisle. The whole idea of an aisle-walking invitation originated under the false theology of Charles Finney. They had all sorts of different gimmicks that they would use and which have been improved upon by 20th century evangelists. But is where the root of those practices go back to. All of the evangelists up to Billy Graham have all followed in the pattern set by Finney.

 

Major literature published at this time included the Scofield Reference Bible which popularized dispensationalism, and the twelve volumes The Fundamentals which helped rally the support of conservatives. They were facing a battle and were losing the major denominations. The fundamentalist-modernist controversy came to a head in the early 20th century, especially in the 1920s. The term "fundamentalism" was originally coined in 1920 by Curtis Lee Laws who was the editor of the Baptist Watchman Examiner. It describes a moderate conservative who opposed the modernist. The original historical meaning of the term was somebody who believed in the fundamentals of the faith: the virgin birth of Christ, then resurrection and deity of Jesus Christ, the substitutionary atonement, the literal second coming of Christ to the earth, and the inspiration and infallibility of the Bible. If you believe those things then you are a classic fundamentalist, although the meaning of that term has change somewhat.

 

The egg on the face of the conservatives was the Scopes trial. The issue was that John Scopes who was a biology teacher in Tennessee was brought on trial for teaching evolution. Tennessee had passed a law saying it was illegal to teach evolution in the classroom. Scopes was a test case. Although the jury gave the victory to the creationists and the conservatives, Clarence Darrow's defense of Scopes pointed out the backward anti-intellectual slant of most fundamentalists, and they became a laughing stock. It cost them a tremendous amount to get the victory but it cost them a tremendous amount of support in the process.

 

By 1925 liberals controlled the northern Baptists, by 1927 the liberals controlled the northern Presbyterians, the Church of Christ had become dominated by liberals, Unitarianists were merging with universalists, and there were very few sound fundamental, orthodox denominations left. In this context there was the rise of Dallas Theological Seminary in 1923. Dallas Seminary, Westminster Seminary and a few others were the bulwark and carried the torch of orthodoxy into the 20th century. Since that time there have been a number of different shifts and transitions.

 

Liberalism was viewed as a failure by WW 1. A European by the name of Karl Barth who was claimed a liberal was so devastated by the destruction of WW 1 that he rejected liberalism and came part way back to conservative orthodoxy. His view is called neo-orthodoxy. In neo-orthodoxy, which dominate many of the old liberal denominations, pastors will talk about atonement, trust in Christ, regeneration, the Bible is the Word of God, using the historical terminology; but what they mean by it is something different from what you and I mean by it. Liberalism has broken up into various different schools of thought across the spectrum of liberalism since then.

 

Among fundamentalism, by the 1930s they had split into a more militant fundamentalism, represented by Bob Jones, John R. Wright, and Paul McIntyre. Their very legalistic emphasis is on a lot of external Christian behavior rather than spirituality of the heart. Moderate fundamentalists, then, split by the 1950s into evangelicals and neo-evangelicals. The issue here is inerrancy. The evangelicals held to inerrancy; neo-evangelicals did not. Today we have a sort of a modern fundamentalist evangelicals who are represented by Dallas Theological Seminary, Western Conservative Baptist Seminary (Oregon), Reformed Theological Seminary (Presbyterian), Covenant Seminary (Mississippi), and Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia). Billy Graham, Karl Henry, would be representative of the broad sector of the evangelical position.

 

The greatest threat to the church today is from the mystic wing of the Pentecostals. Pentecostalism has its historical roots in the theology of John Wesley. Wesley taught a perfectionist view of the Christian life. In the 1840s a Methodist Sunday school teacher by the name of C.D. Palmer was dismayed by the fact that Wesleyanism/Methodism was losing converts. During the early part of the 19th century with the second great awakening the churches were exploding. But what happened? Everybody started moving west and the churches began to get smaller. It looked like they were losing their impact. The worst thing we can do when we start losing members of a church is to ask: What are we doing wrong? We may not be doing anything wrong. People may be simply rejecting the truth, there may be an economic catastrophe causing people to move, etc. So she went back and studied Wesley and in her interpretation of Wesley she said: "We got salvation at the cross but we didn't get it all. There needs to be a second work of grace. When you receive that second work of grace them you are elevated into a state of perfection." By perfection she did not mean that Wesley meant a state of absolute sinlessness but that you no longer commit sins of knowledge. You won't commit sins that you know about because you have been elevated in almost a mystical fashion by the Holy Spirit to the state of perfection. The impact of this was that it developed into "holiness theology"—holiness is the goal of the Christian so we have to achieve the state of perfection. It is a two-step view of the Christian life. You don't get it all at the cross, you get it in two steps: 1 gets you salvation; 2 gets you sanctification. This is the double work of Christ.

 

The second work of salvation then came to be identified with the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Traditionally evangelicalism, and biblically, the baptism of the Holy Spirit takes place when the Holy Spirit identifies the person with Jesus Christ and unites him with Christ at the moment he is saved; it is not a secondary work; it doesn't come after salvation. What they did was split it out from salvation so that there were two works. When the Pentecostals came along they identified the baptism of the Holy Spirit with speaking in tongues. How do you know if you have received this second work of grace, the baptism of the Holy Spirit? You speak in tongues. On January 1st 1901 Agnes Osmond spoke in tongues in Topeka, Kansas. The pastor there went down to Houston where he got a convert by the name of William Seymour, a black man with very little education, who then went to LA and that s where the Pentecostal revival really took off. He had people speaking in tongues all over the place and the whole Pentecostal movement sprung out of this revival in Los Angeles. That developed into the idea that there was one work of grace evidenced by the tongues, and that was articulated by the Pentecostals in 1914. In 1958, 59 they invaded the denominations. In the beginning, whenever they spoke in tongues they left the denomination and started their own. Some particular Pentecostals did not believe in the Trinity, they were Unitarian Pentecostals. A large number of Pentecostals don't believe in the Trinity, they are called "Jesus only" Pentecostals.

 

In 1958, 59 there was the neo-Pentecostal movement and the Charismatic movement, at which time they entered the denominations. Then by the 1980s they began to look more and more like Bible church people. They didn't jump up and down, they didn't get into a lot of extremism, they no longer said that speaking in tongues was evidence of Baptism of the Holy Spirit, they began to deemphasize tongues and emphasize prophecy and healing instead. This new movement was called the third wave or the Vineyard movement and it is having a tremendous impact among Bible churches. A number of men who went to Dallas Seminary are now pasturing Vineyard churches. This influence of mysticism on the church is working inside for authority rather than deriving principles is one of the greatest threats to true biblical Christianity today.