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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

Vantage Point: Pentecostal Prayer

By Ken Horn
May 19, 2013

Today is Pentecost Sunday. Though this is a special day to focus on Pentecost, any magazine with Pentecostal in its title clearly addresses this theme throughout the year. The Evangel has during its history. The word “Pentecostal” was added to the title in 1918, five years after the birth of the magazine.

The publication had been Pentecostal in content from its start in 1913, but there came a point when the Assemblies of God wanted a stronger emphasis on the word. The change was no cavalier decision. It came via an official resolution of the 1918 General Council.

Historian Carl Brumback wrote: “This resolution manifested a spirit of Christian love that extended beyond Pentecostal doctrine, but it also took a firm stand for what was believed to be the clear teaching of the Word of God. ... It was decided ... to change the name of the official organ from the Christian Evangel to the Pentecostal Evangel; not because the Assemblies of God desired to be less Christian, but rather, because the Assemblies of God desired to be more New Testament Christian.” [Carl Brumback, Suddenly ... From Heaven: A History of the Assemblies of God (Springfield, Mo.: Gospel Publishing House, 1961), p. 225]

A weekly publication affords many opportunities, so the subject of Pentecost has been covered in a variety of ways. Although some would portray early Pentecostals as uneducated and shallow, that could hardly be said of much of the Evangel’s early content. While rich in accounts of experiences with Holy Spirit power, weekly issues also featured studious, in-depth biblical articles. For example, in 1917, while still the Weekly Evangel, the magazine carried the lengthy multi-part series “Pictures of Pentecost in the Old Testament” by Alice E. Luce, which later was published as a book by Gospel Publishing House.

Our past can also make us reflect on our present.

In the May 18, 1946, issue, P.S. Jones wrote words that need no explanation and bear heeding: “If there is one distinctive feature in Pentecostal church worship, it is the prominence given to the prayer room. Most forms of church service end when the benediction is pronounced, but in Pentecostal assemblies another service in the prayer room usually begins at that point. ... To a very large degree, the blessing on that service is dependent upon the spiritual power which proceeds from the prayer room.”

Food for thought?

Ken Horn

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