PAOC Clergy on Tongues and Spirit Baptism: Changing Views

Yesterday I had a journal article published:

Changing Conceptions of Speaking in Tongues and Spirit Baptism Among Canadian Pentecostal Clergy,” with Adam Stewart and Kevin Shanahan. Canadian Journal of Pentecostal-Charismatic Christianity 7 (2016): 1-24.

In the same volume, you can find responses to my article from PAOC General Superintendent David Wells, Randy Holm, and Van Johnson, in their essay “The End of Tongues? A Conversation with Gabriel, Stewart and Shanahan.”

The paper and responses were initially presented at the Society for Pentecostal Studies in March of 2016.

Here is a summary of my paper:

In 2014, a strong majority of clergy within the Pentecostal Assemblies ogabriel-changing-conceptions-tongues-spirit-baptism-cjpc-2016f Canada (PAOC) agreed that speaking in tongues is the initial physical evidence of Spirit baptism, but less than half agreed that tongues speech is a necessary component of Spirit baptism. This represents a significant departure from a generation ago. Drawing on both quantitative and qualitative data, this article describes the specific nature of the transformation of Pentecostalism’s central theological and ritual component among PAOC clergy and presents two arguments. First, sociologically we argue that the changing views of PAOC clergy regarding the relationship of tongues speech to Spirit baptism are the result of their participation in the broader generic evangelical subculture, which promotes the adoption of a common evangelical religious identity and experience. Second, historically we argue that, rather than representing a simple capitulation to modern influences, this change, if even unintentionally, shows some similarity to both early American and Canadian Pentecostal views regarding Spirit baptism.

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