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  The name for the 20th-century Pentecostal movement is taken from the outpouring of the Spirit 50 days after the Resurrection of Christ. (Pentecost is Greek for ‘fiftieth day’.) The name reflects the belief that the spiritual gifts listed in Paul\'s Letter to the Church in Corinth (1 Cor. 12:8-10), as enjoyed by the Early Church, have been rediscovered, especially faith healing, prophecy and speaking in tongues (glossolalia). The first Pentecostals, who appeared some 90 years ago, saw their experience as the promised outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the last days before Christ\'s Second Coming, manifesting Jesus as saviour, healer, baptizer in the Holy Spirit and Coming King.

Although most Pentecostal groups adopt a fundamentalist approach to biblical exegesis, and a conservative evangelical theology, their interpretation of scripture is often creative and imaginative, providing a living source of guidance. Pentecostal worship can be described as ‘organized spontaneity’ with the maximum possible amount of congregational participation. The music is often outstanding, while in many congregations, dancing has great ritual significance. Adult baptism on confession of faith is practised, regardless of whether the convert has been baptized before. Many congregations have no full-time paid clergy, and lay leadership is probably the most important factor in this church\'s phenomenal growth, particularly in the Third World. EMJ

Further reading W.J. Hollenweger, The Pentecostals.



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