By R. G. Robins
A.J. Tomlinson (1865-1943) ranks one of the best figures of the early Pentecostal circulation, and prefer such a lot of of his cohorts, he used to be as complicated as he was once colourful. Arriving in Appalachia as a house missionary decided to uplift and evangelize negative mountain whites, he stayed to turn into the co-founder and leader architect of the Church of God (Cleveland, TN) and the Church of God of Prophecy, which including their minor offspring now represent the third-largest denominational kinfolk inside American Pentecostalism. R.G. Robins's biography recreates the realm during which Tomlinson operated, and during his tale deals a brand new figuring out of the origins of the Pentecostal stream. students have tended to view Pentecostalism as purely one amongst many anti-modernist hobbies of the early 20th century. Robins argues that it is a misreading of the movement's origins-the results of projecting the modernist/fundamentalist controversy of the Nineteen Twenties again onto the sooner spiritual panorama. looking to go back the tale of Pentecostalism to its right historic context, Robins means that Pentecostalism should still rightly be visible as an outgrowth of the novel holiness circulation of the past due 19th century. He argues that, faraway from being anti-modern, Pentecostals tended to embody modernity. Pentecostal modernism, although, was once a operating type or ''plainfolk'' phenomenon, and it's the plainfolk personality of the flow that has led such a lot of students to mislabel it as anti-modern or fundamentalist. in the course of the compelling narrative of Tomlinson's lifestyles tale, Robins sheds new gentle on late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century American faith, and gives a extra subtle lens in which to view the spiritual dynamics of our personal day. v
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Extra resources for A. J. Tomlinson: Plainfolk Modernist
The deﬁnition of terms will be followed by a deﬁnition of culture. Through a series of cultural soundings, I will examine radical holiness with reference to key behavioral and valuational indexes in order to capture its personality and temperament and to locate it on the spectrum of enthusiasm for, and appropriation of, values associated with modernism. Finally, I will address countervailing tendencies within radical holiness that qualify (but do not disqualify) my characterization of it as plainfolk modernism.
28 But that quarrelsome itch to scrap at the drop of a hat was not born of simple petulance. Rather, it reﬂected the rough-and-ready canons of plainfolk polemic, the implicit norms that governed how one conducted debate, responded to insult, or defended the integrity of one’s community or the basic moral order. Those norms were in turn grounded in deeply seated notions of personal and corporate honor that, at a minimum, demanded that the saints not cower before their foes. Plainfolk culture, in short, nurtured rules of engagement sharply at variance with those of genteel culture.
I do not try to argue that radical holiness formed part of the American mainstream, but I do argue that it was directly related to vital currents within that mainstream; that the progression from Protestant mainstream to radical holiness was logical, even natural; and that the distance between holiness periphery and American center was less than it now seems. I also modify Smith’s argument regarding the source and nature of holiness alienation. Like Smith, I relate radical holiness alienation to the gentriﬁcation of antebellum popular evangelicalism—but with qualiﬁcations.