By R. G. Robins
A.J. Tomlinson (1865-1943) ranks one of the prime figures of the early Pentecostal flow, and prefer such a lot of of his cohorts, he was once as advanced as he was once colourful. Arriving in Appalachia as a house missionary decided to uplift and evangelize bad 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 family members inside of American Pentecostalism. R.G. Robins's biography recreates the area during which Tomlinson operated, and during his tale bargains a brand new figuring out of the origins of the Pentecostal circulate. students have tended to view Pentecostalism as purely one amongst many anti-modernist hobbies of the early 20th century. Robins argues that this can be 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. trying to go back the tale of Pentecostalism to its right historic context, Robins means that Pentecostalism may still rightly be visible as an outgrowth of the unconventional holiness circulation of the past due 19th century. He argues that, faraway from being anti-modern, Pentecostals tended to embody modernity. Pentecostal modernism, notwithstanding, was once a operating classification or ''plainfolk'' phenomenon, and it's the plainfolk personality of the stream that has led such a lot of students to mislabel it as anti-modern or fundamentalist. during the compelling narrative of Tomlinson's existence tale, Robins sheds new gentle on late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century American faith, and gives a extra sophisticated lens during which to view the spiritual dynamics of our personal day. v
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T. 21 Having seized this banner, they eagerly embraced the reputation for radicalism that came with it. ”22 In addition to being self-ascribed, “radical holiness” makes an apt designation for this subculture because it captures the movement’s primitivist urge to return to the very root of apostolic Christianity and its utter disdain for any measure of compromise in the process. Furthermore, it allows a healthy degree of imprecision. No clear boundary divided radical from mainstream holiness. The path from one to the other was both beaten and strait and narrow, but one would have been hard-pressed to say exactly where one crossed the line.
The path from one to the other was both beaten and strait and narrow, but one would have been hard-pressed to say exactly where one crossed the line. Moreover, the trafﬁc ran in both directions. Some, like Frank Sandford, traveled from center to periphery. Others, like A. B. Crumpler and G. B. Cashwell, drifted from periphery to center. In the middle stood a great many “tweeners,” like George Watson and Sam Jones, who had entre´e into venues on either side. Finally, the term suggests a group deﬁned by matters of degree, an accentua- radical holiness 33 tion or distinctive inﬂection of characteristics and beliefs common to the larger group.
18 While class deﬁned in Marxist terms has never provided a durable basis for social cohesion in America, class deﬁned as an expression of folkways and cultural tradition has been one of its most important preconditions. This has 32 the radical holiness world of a. j. ”19 Different socialization produces different religious sensibilities, and individuals are typically drawn to religious movements that correspond to their socially informed sensibilities. In that respect, class, deﬁned as a function of socialization, has been a valuable predictor of religious afﬁliation, notwithstanding many exceptions.
A. J. Tomlinson: Plainfolk Modernist by R. G. Robins