Pentecostalism: Spirit-Filled Blessing...or Dangerous Heresy?

(A Conference on the subject)



A discussion of Pentecostalism is important. Since its inception in the early 1900s the movement has spread from a handful of people in Topeka, Kansas and in Los Angeles, California to a worldwide movement that today numbers a half billion people. The movement is regarded as a "third force" in Christendom, with Roman Catholicism and Protestantism.

David Engeisma writes in the pamphlet Try the Spirits: A Reformed Look at Pentecostalism, published by the South Holland, Illinois Protestant Reformed Church Evangelism Committee, "that the charismatic movement (or neo-Pentecostalism) is no vagrant breeze wafting through the Protestant churches, but is a mighty wind blowing steadily in these churches. Nor does this surprise us. Religion, like nature, abhors a vacuum. Before these years of doctrine solid, expository preaching and thorough doctrinal instruction, the churches are exposed to the in rushing stream of mysticism. Starved of the 'strong meat' of the word (Heb. 5:12-14), the empty souls of the members of these churches crave the insubstantial air of feeling. Although the powerful presence of the charismatic wind in the Protestant churches does not surprise us, it does grieve us. We call our fellow Protestants, especially all Reformed Christians, to resist the neo-Pentecostal hurricane: 'be no more children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine' (Eph. 4:14). By the infallible rule of Holy Scripture, 'try the spirits whether they are of God' (I John 4:1)."

The articles published in this booklet do exactly that. They "try the spirit of Pentecostalism to see whether it is of God." We posit that Pentecostalism is at odds with the Scriptures and with the historic Christian faith, with Protestantism and the Reformed faith.

The articles were given first as speeches at conferences held in January 2001 at the First Protestant Reformed Church of Holland and in March 2001 at the First Protestant Reformed Church of Grand Rapids. These churches and the Southeast Protestant Reformed Church have worked together in the publication of this booklet.

The lectures were taped and copies of the tapes are available by writing to the Evangelism Committees of the churches (see the attached addresses).

David J. Engelsma is professor of theology at the Seminary of the Protestant Reformed Churches. Wilbur Bruinsma is the pastor of the Kalamazoo, Michigan Protestant Reformed Church. Charles Terpstra is pastor of the First Protestant Reformed Church of Holland, Michigan.

Terri Vandevegte designed the cover.

June, 2001


Pentecostalism: What Is It?

   David J. Engelsma

A Biblical Analysis of the Gifts of the Spirit in Pentecostalism

    Wilbur Bruinsma

Pentecostal View of the Christian Life

    Charles Terpstra

For information on free printed copies, write:

Last modified: 3-Dec-2004