The Korean Pentecostal Movement: Retrospect and Prospect for the New Century, Part II.

Wonsuk Maa

Asia Pacific Theological Seminary (Baguio City, Philippines)

Part II:

Missionary Challenges

The Pentecostal contribution is better recognized in the area of mission than in other areas. The Pentecostal involvement in mission can be viewed as part of the surging missionary activity among Evangelical Christianity in the past two centuries. Nonetheless, the Pentecostal contribution to mission is unique. Gary McGee, a well-known Pentecostal missiologist, contends that Pentecostal achievements in missions have greatly impacted the formation of Pentecostal theology.65 On the contrary, and compared to other Korean denominations, the missionary contribution made by Korean Pentecostal churches is relatively insignificant. Its shorter history could be an excuse, but the missionary involvement of the western Pentecostal movement began at the very beginning of the movement. A less established financial and structural basis is also not a legitimate reason for the low missionary involvement, as early western Pentecostal missionary movement had its support basis among the poor, the majority of early Pentecostals. One should also note that many early Pentecostal missionaries were not sent by a mission board, but by local churches. It is essential, then, to evaluate the mission theology and practices of Korean Pentecostal churches, especially in light of their Pentecostal heritage.

Strong Missionary Motive in Pentecostal Theology

Grant McClung, another Pentecostal missiologist, argues that the most critical element for missions in the new century is not missionary strategies, but mission theology.66 As more technology and social sciences approaches are applied to missions, there is growing awareness of different cultures, application of high technology solutions, identification and adoption of unreached people groups (through, for instance, the ‘10-40 window’ idea), etc. Although strategies seem to take the central place of missiology, one should be reminded clearly that it is not hi-tech gadgets but a right theological framework that sets the direction for missions and dynamics for soul-winning. In this sense, the greatest contribution that Pentecostalism can make to missions is its mission-centered theology.

The foundation of Pentecostal theology is the role of the Holy Spirit in Luke-Acts.67 This does not mean that Pentecostals do not accept the roles of the Spirit found elsewhere. Traditional Evangelical pneumatology is based on the Pauline presentation, which emphasizes the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of individual believers and the church as a whole.68 In a similar way, various writers have different aspects of the work of the Spirit, such as John and Mark. Lukan pneumatology is rooted in the context of mission. His thesis - that the Holy Spirit is fundamentally concerned with mission - is expressed in Luke’s life of Jesus Christ, in his account of the works of the apostles and the expansion of the church in Acts. Since the Holy Spirit is the main player of mission, Luke argues that mission is impossible without the presence and empowerment of the Holy Spirit (e.g., Luke 24:47-49).

The baptism of the Spirit, probably the most important, critical and unique doctrine of Pentecostals, is believed to be an empowerment for witnessing (Acts 1:8). Luke (24:49) also argues that the empowerment of the Spirit is essential for mission. Pentecostal history also reveals the intimate link between the baptism of the Spirit and mission. For instance, Charles Parham, a father of the modern Pentecostal movement, once (mis)understood tongues as missionary language.69

The baptism of/in the Spirit in Luke is often used interchangeably with the in-filling of the Spirit, and its root is traced in the Old Testament notion of the spirit of God upon political leaders such as judges, kings and prophets, and especially the future Messiah. The presence of God’s spirit not only enabled the recipients, but also served as a sign of God’s election and commission (e.g., Luke 4:18-19).70 Other works of the divine spirit such as the creation spirit in Gen 1:2 and Isa 32:15, have the main effect in the recipients. However, the charismatic spirit has an effect, not only on the recipients, but also others that receive the effect of the Spirit’s presence. This charismatic spirit of God, or the Holy Spirit in the New Testament, elects God’s servants, such as apostles, empowers, and commissions them, but also effects others through the mission of God’s servants. That is, the charismatic S/spirit had two levels of recipients. For example, the spirit of God came upon Gideon (the initial recipient) and as a consequence Israelites were liberated from the invader’s oppression and enjoyed God’s presence. The ultimate purpose of the coming of the spirit is not just to elect a new leader, but to liberate God’s people. Luke employs this charismatic tradition of God’s spirit in his Gospel and Acts.

The Holy Spirit, which is the Spirit of God, not only called, empowered, and sent the disciples, but also led them specifically to the success of their witnessing. Nowhere in the New Testament is it implied that the apostles controlled the Spirit. On the contrary, Jesus was led by the Spirit to be tempted in the desert, and empowered by the Spirit for his mission. It is the same Spirit who stopped Paul from proceeding to Asia (Acts 16:6-7), and it is the Spirit who instead led Paul to Macedonia (Acts 16:9).

Evangelicals have based their missionary work on the conviction of God’s kingdom and made the nineteenth century a golden century for mission.71 Upon this achievement, the Pentecostal theology has furthered the missionary movement in the twentieth century. However, Pentecostals failed to make a missiological impact on the Evangelical world, simply because they did not produce a reflective literature, in contrast to their impressive missionary achievements.72 In Korea this has been exacerbated by atomism of blessing theology and a missiology based on church planting.73

Eschatological Orientation

Another missional dynamic of the Pentecostal movement is their eschatological worldview that the end of this age is very near. As Peter notes in his use of the Joel passage, the coming of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost is a sign of the last days (‘on that day’ in Joel). For modern Pentecostals, the coming of the Spirit in the modern Pentecostal movement is viewed as the end of the last days (the latter rain), whereas the initial coming of the Spirit in the early church was the beginning of the last days (the early rain). Considering that Pentecostals generally held the traditional pre-tribulation and pre-millennial belief, the coming of the Spirit signals the imminent second return of Christ.

Of course, mission is motivated by more than the eschatological dynamic: genuine love for the lost, obedience to the Great Commission, and/or the belief that soul winning is rewarding. However, an eschatological expectation had several immediate effects in their missionary practices. The first is the real urgency that the return of Christ is imminent, that is, only a little time is left.74 Secondly, this led Christians to become more interested in eternal and otherworldly affairs rather than the temporal and this-worldly. Third, this orientation naturally drove believers to have more concern for soul winning, and so to invest much of their resources are invested in evangelism and mission. Fourth, missionary involvement brought the sense that one is participating in the eschatological fulfillment by speeding His return. Beyond these, the unique Pentecostal dynamic for mission, as discussed above, results in a simple logic that a Pentecostal church that is not committed to mission is not a true Pentecostal church. On the other hand, this eschatological orientation of Pentecostals contributes to the lesser attention given to social service or participation in contemporary issues.

Unfortunately, in spite of the eschatological emphasis, the modern Korean church has elicited a good degree of suspicion. A typical Christian heretical group in Korea distorts eschatological teaching, forms a secluded community, destroys families, disturbs social order, and may even transform itself into a criminal group. As a reaction, average Christians have a strong apprehension about eschatological emphases. In recent years, a group made a false predication of Christ’s return and indulged in fanatic ‘missionary’ campaigns utilizing various means including mass media, open air evangelism, literature, and sending ‘missionaries.’ There was a backlash against eschatological beliefs not only among Christians but across the entire society. As a result, eschatological teaching has declined. For Pentecostal believers, emphasis on eschatological expectation has been further reduced due to their blessing-centered theological orientation, which has led them to this-worldly living rather than spiritual and otherworldly concerns. This is not to deny the danger of overly emphasized eschatology as seen in the Corinthian church.75 At the same time, Christian faith without eschatological expectation and orientation is equally problematic. For this reason, Korean Pentecostals are often accused of being shamanistic, that is, primarily seeking physical and material gains while ignoring the moral and spiritual dimensions of religious life. More critical is the fact that Korean Pentecostal churches do not possess the ‘plus’ element for missions. Before it is too late, Pentecostals have to re-evaluate their theology of blessing, rediscover their eschatological foundation, and lead a new beginning for missions.

Signs and Wonders

Perhaps the most distinct element in Pentecostal mission is the demonstration of God’s power. It is well argued that the worldviews of Pentecostalism and animism are strikingly similar,76 and this makes a striking contrast with traditional Christianity, which often represents the western worldview. Similar areas include the awareness of the spiritual world, belief in, expectation of, and prayer for miracles of God, and the leadership, which requires not only a community endorsement, but also a divine approval.77 Harnack, the great German liberal historian, has noted that the success of Christianity in the first two centuries owed much to divine healing and exorcism.78

One of the most unique contributions of the Charismatic movement is the expansion of the Pentecostal phenomenon from the lower social strata to middle class Christianity. In a sense, the movement liberated the work of the Spirit from the denominational limit, and spread it to the wider Christian world including the Roman Catholic Church. One could say, therefore, that the Charismatic movement democratized the Pentecostal experience. Accordingly, supernatural experiences, such as healing and miracles, began to be experienced by middle class believers. For instance, in the Philippines many Charismatic services, including Catholic, Protestant, and independent groups, are aired regularly. By their sermons, singing, and prayer for healing, it is difficult to distinguish between various affiliations. It reminds one of the American Charismatic movement, which has effectively utilized mass media, especially TV, and penetrated homes with the message of signs and wonders.

In the Two-Thirds world, most of which has an animistic or shamanistic substrate, Pentecostal evangelistic messages achieved radical success.79 For instance, contextualization, probably the most critical and even controversial concept in modern missiology, is a noble concept to bring the supra-cultural gospel to a particular cultural setting utilizing its unique cultural expressions, so that Christianity will take root in the socio-cultural context without being perceived as a foreign religion.80 However, in spite of the obvious need and convincing logical presentation of various methodologies for contextualization, it is difficult, if not impossible, to achieve a missionary work with ideal contextualization. It is rather in the demonstration of spiritual power that Christianity achieves contextualization, especially in animistic settings. The reality and presence of God through healing and exorcism addresses directly the tribal religious psychology that is attuned to the work of spiritual powers, and brings a decisive impact on their religious allegiance. Such ‘power mission’ leaves a powerful impact on the tribal group in the spiritual, societal, religious, social and communicational realms and provides a significant contribution.81 However, Pentecostal mission does not automatically result in a desirable contexualization process. Several models for ‘Pentecostal’ syncretism have been studied in Asia.82 

This is a unique contribution the Pentecostals can make in the area of world mission. Then it will be imperative for Korean Pentecostal missionaries to receive general missionary training and also equip themselves with the unique mission theology and methodology of Pentecostalism. For this reason, it is encouraging to see a Pentecostal missionary training program such as Missionary Training Program instituted jointly by Assemblies of God Asia Missions Association (AGAMA) and Asia Pacific Theological Seminary (APTS) of the Philippines.83 These include new mission courses such as ‘Signs and Wonders in Mission,’ ‘Seminar in Pentecostal Mission,’ and ‘Animism and Pentecostalism’. Also noted are mission degree programs hosted by Pentecostal institutions.84 Other Pentecostal schools and training programs should increase their offerings of ‘Pentecostal’ courses for future missionaries as well as in-field missionaries. 

Role of Women and Laity

Another significant contribution of the Pentecostal movement to mission is the active participation of women and laity. Both groups were traditionally neglected or underutilized for ministry. The neglect of women can be attributed to sexist biases and interpretation based on selective scriptural passages. The laity was neglected due to more complex reasons, such as a tension between clergy and laity and other extra-theological reasons. It is especially true when a denomination, movement or organization is ‘developed’ and institutionalized. This is against the biblical teaching that every believer has ministry. But the reality is that ministry has become the monopoly of males. 

The outbreak of the modern Pentecostal movement raised a serious question to this long-standing practice. When the Holy Spirit, “the main player in mission”, elects, empowers and sends, the difference between male and female, or clergy and laity becomes meaningless. For instance, the Azusa Street Revival epitomizes the case: among twelve elders including the founder William Seymour, six were female.85 In the same way, there was not much difference between laity and clergy. While procedures and qualifications for clergy are determined by humans in traditional organizations, many laity who experienced the calling and ‘anointing’ of the Spirit gave themselves to the ministry. The role of women was especially significant in missions - at one point Assemblies of God (U.S.A.) female missionaries accounted for over 60 percent of the total Pentecostal missionary count. Testimonies of single female missionaries are quite extraordinary. When a missions committee was organized for the first time in the U.S. Assemblies of God, one of the members was female, something quite radical at the time. Therefore, the adoption of the position paper of 1990 on ‘The Role of Women in Ministry as Described in Holy Scripture’ may be viewed as a delayed action. The role of women is more active in the Foursquare Church whose founder was a woman.86 The unique contribution of the founder of Korean Foursquare Church, Shin-Ok Kim, in the area of public education should be understood in the same vein.

The contribution of Korean Christianity to women’s rights is significant, especially considering the culture’s strong patriarchal structures. Pentecostal churches further widened the door to ministry for women. Women ministers, such as Jashil Choi, whose influence goes far beyond Korean Christianity, provide an excellent role model for women’s ministry involvement. For instance, Rev. Yukio Funatzu, often considered to be a model for Japanese Assemblies of God women ministers, was heavily influenced by Choi. The Korean Assemblies of God was one of just a few denominations that ordained women in the early years.

Some scholars believe in an intimate link between church growth and the participation of women: when women have freedom in ministry, churches grow, while when women’s participation is discouraged by institutionalization or tradition, churches cease to grow.87 Now the Pentecostal churches must recover their unique tradition of women’s ministry and actively apply it to missions. Korean Pentecostal churches must courageously abandon the traditional male-clergy dominant mission policy and establish a mechanism which actively recruits, trains, commissions and supports God’s people, lay or clergy, male or female, who are ‘called by God.’ As tent-making lay missionaries provide a new breakthrough in mission, the Pentecostal churches must find ways to utilize such ignored resources as the vast and often professional laity which make up so much of the church.

Religion of the Marginalized Mass

Historically, the Pentecostal message spread like a wild fire among the poor and marginalized. In the Azusa Street Mission of Los Angeles, the Pentecostal movement broke out among black and Hispanic immigrants. In mission fields in South America, Asia and Africa, the Pentecostal message brought hope to the poor and oppressed. Although Cox attributes this to the social and emotional marginalization due to rapid urbanization,88 one needs to remember that one of the real reasons is found in the Pentecostal message itself rather than something external, since the Pentecostal message is well accepted not only among the urban poor but also by tribal societies. 

First of all, the eschatological and otherworld message has a strong appeal to those who are socially neglected. The poor and deserted gravitated to the Pentecostal message out of the motive to compensate for their material needs by emotional and spiritual means. A similar phenomenon took place on mission fields, as Pentecostals reached people in urban slum areas, red-light districts, among the orphans, unemployed, and in lower social strata. To this social, emotional hunger, Pentecostalism provided a community in which one can feel accepted and empowered. This is in contrast with traditional churches, which reached an urban middle class who may have relatively less need for social acceptance and belonging. In a sense, divine healing was the only option for many urban poor who could not access medical services. As a result, many Pentecostal missions in Egypt, Nepal, India and other countries took a holistic approach encompassing the spiritual, social and physical.

The success of Pentecostal mission among tribal societies is particularly noticeable where educational, medical and social services are almost non-existent. Of course, this success phenomenon is a complex reality. For instance, the similar worldviews between Pentecostal and tribal societies, or the deep level of commitment among Pentecostal missionaries are often noted. However, one contributing factor to this success can be found in the Pentecostal interest in the marginalized. This could be a reaction to their past history characterized by humiliation and non-acceptance by the mainstream of society and Christianity. 

Historically, the Pentecostal movement has been owned by the poor and marginalized, and the same tradition continued in mission fields. Consequently, this excluded mass was empowered through the message of hope, gaining a positive attitude toward the present life and consequently experienced God’s blessing achieving a rapid upward mobility. It is particularly evident in non-western countries that the goodness of God is experienced in the present life with specific ‘blessing’ of the Lord, almost abandoning the eschatological and otherworldly orientation of traditional Christianity. The care for the poor has been probably the most significant emphasis of Pentecostalism in missionary works.

Establishing Missionary Churches

The most practical challenge for church planting missionaries is to nurture a church to become self-supporting. The traditional pattern for church planting is: soul-winning through evangelism, nurturing and discipling to establish a local congregation, building a church building and finally letting the church support itself, so that the missionary will be no longer needed. However, the real goal for a missionary work is to see the local church participates in mission, home as well as foreign mission. That would be the complete missionary cycle which Peter Wagner advocates.89 This is the most rewarding experience for any missionary. However, the reality is that the self-supporting comes first and then missionary work.

In contrast, Pentecostal theology teaches a strongly mission-oriented ecclesiology. The very reason why the Spirit came was to form a body of Christ in a locality and the congregation is called to save souls under the empowerment of the Spirit. This theological orientation has a powerful consequence. In many mission fields, it is not unusual at all for a congregation not yet ‘organized’ to become involved in active evangelistic activities in nearby communities. For instance, local churches among the Kankana-ey tribe in the northern Philippines began several missionary works among the Kalangoya tribe and established at least five congregations within five years. In fact, the dedication services for a mother church in a Kankana-ey province and its daughter church in a Kalangoya region took place in the same week in 1995. If traditional churches practice mission as a step of a church’s development, the Pentecostal mission has shown that the traditional practice is not truly biblical, and provided an alternative model. 

Concluding Remarks

The Pentecostal churches in Korea and elsewhere have achieved notable church growth and made a powerful impact on the entire Christian world. Their growing missionary activities are significant as well. The role of the Korean Pentecostal churches is likely to be rather significant in the new century, considering the facts that: 1) in the new century the demography of Christianity will change significantly so that the Pentecostals and Roman Catholics will form the two major groups, and 2) the demographic center of Christianity has been shifted from the western world to the non-western regions. To contribute to the realization of their roles, various theological reflections are a must. Thus the role of Pentecostal theologians and schools becomes critical. Therefore, I would like to make the following moderate proposals in the area of academics to the Korean Pentecostal theologians, schools, churches and believers.

Pentecostal churches and theological schools in Korea must form a network. The biblical principle is clear that many parts with various gifts must join their resources together. No one Pentecostal denomination or even the largest church in the world can do the task of evangelization alone: all groups need to work together to expand God’s kingdom. It is regrettable that except for just a few Pentecostal denominations and schools, networking is a foreign concept. It is especially true that bigger denominations, such as the Korean Assemblies of God and mega-churches, failed to provide leadership in this inter-Pentecostal networking. It is advisable for them to form, or encourage to be more active (if there is already one), an inter-church organization, such as the Association of Korean Pentecostal Churches, or an association among Pentecostal theological schools in Korea. Challenges which Korean Pentecostal churches face in the new century are too serious for a single group or a school to counter. In fact, Pentecostal education systems and academic activities are still in their infancy, and networking is almost a survival necessity. 

Adequate research systems should be established and existing ones should be more active. Various levels of denominational research should be undertaken in various areas such as history, theology, mission, social involvement, etc. For example, the Korean Assemblies of God may like to translate and publish the position papers of the U.S. Assemblies of God as resource material for further evaluation and adaptation for the Korean setting. Many studies now available in English or other languages should be made available, so that Pentecostal traditions and current trends will be introduced to Korean Pentecostals. Pentecostal schools can undertake joint projects to tackle issues posing challenges to the Korean Pentecostal movement. It is a small example that the International Theological Institute of Seoul, Korea and the Theological Commission of the Asia Pacific Theological Association (Assemblies of God) joined their efforts together in revising a bibliography on pneumatology originally published by the Institute. Pentecostal schools, institutes and publishing houses could launch a publication series for academic work either originally written in Korean or translated from a non-Korean language. A Pentecostal dissertation series can make many theses and dissertations widely available which would have been otherwise buried in the library shelves. It is particularly essential to collect historical material, then study and publish them. For this reason, the recent organization of the Korean Pentecostal Society is encouraging and its periodical (although in Korean) is available.90

As occasionally mentioned above, many important Pentecostal works should be translated into Korean. For example, a rare reference work to the Pentecostal movement, the Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, should be translated immediately and possibly an Asian edition with Asian entries should also be published.91 Another possibility is a Pentecostal study Bible. By adopting two existing Pentecostal reference Bibles such as Full Life Bible and Spirit Filled Bible a Korean Pentecostal study Bible is not a remote possibility. Also important is the translation of important Pentecostal research. As schools are facing the shortage of Pentecostal textbooks, it is recommended that several standard works in Pentecostalism be translated. Still another area is the increasing number of Pentecostal periodicals. Many fine researches have been published in Pneuma: Journal of Society for Pentecostal Studies and Journal of Pentecostal Theology. Others include the EPTA Journal published by European Pentecostal scholars, Cyberjournal of Pentecostal/Charismatic Research92 available through the Internet, and Asian Journal of Pentecostal Studies published by Asia Pacific Theological Seminary in the Philippines. Articles on Pentecostal subjects regularly appear in other journals, such as Transformation for social issues, Missiology for mission studies and history journals. Several volumes of readers can be easily published by translating and collecting them according to subject matter.

Korean Pentecostal theologians cannot be satisfied with simply serving Korean Pentecostal churches. In spite of several handicaps such as language, many Asian and Two-Thirds world churches expect something significant from Korean churches, Pentecostal as well as non-Pentecostal. However, the modern missionary work of the Korean church in the past two decades has taught us how inadequate was the approach that provides only financial assistance to churches in the mission field. This critical time, with the declining church growth and economic crisis, challenges the Korean church to rethink their role in missions. What the churches in the world are eagerly expecting is the theological, pastoral and missiological contribution from the Korean churches. The new Korean Pentecostal Society can easily give an impetus to the birth of an Asia-wide association among Pentecostal schools and scholars throughout the Asia-Pacific region.93 Korean Pentecostals should actively participate in activities of the already existing Asia-wide organizations and take a leadership role. Their role in the area of mission and missiology is great. Korean Pentecostal churches need to fully utilize God-given resources to assist other Asian churches in the formation of their contextual theologies, missions program and missionary training. This will also provide a model for missionary works of Korean churches. 

Missionary contribution is more than helping other churches. The active involvement of Korean Pentecostal churches in mission will help them to get rid of their narrowness both in terms of theology and ethnicity. This will provide another momentum for the growth and vitalization of the Korean church. Furthermore, it is our prayer that Korean churches will raise new leaders, not only for themselves, but also for world Christianity. If Pentecostals are expected to provide vitality in the new century, who knows whether world class Christian leaders will emerge from Korean Pentecostal churches and schools?


1. Indebtedness is expressed to Dr. Paul Pierson of Fuller Theological Seminary for his kind and helpful comments. An earlier version of the paper was read at the annual theological lecture in Hansei University, Korea in November 1997.

2. Examples in this category include Assemblies of God; Church of God in Christ; Church of God, Cleveland, TN; Pentecostal Holiness Church; International Church of Foursquare Gospel; United Pentecostal Church; and Apostolic Faith Mission.

3. The Catholic Charismatic Movement has enjoyed rapid growth, especially due to a positive encouragement from Vatican II. See Wonsuk Ma, in forthcoming New International Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2000). For instance, El Shaddai, a Filipino Catholic Charismatic group claims more than two million adherents throughout the county and established its branch congregations in Hong Kong, United States and Europe. See Wonsuk Ma, ‘El Shaddai,’ in forthcoming New International Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2000).

4. C. Peter Wagner, ‘A Third Wave?’ Pastoral Renewal (July-August, 1983), 1-5, and William W. Menzies, ‘Reflections of a Pentecostal at the End of the Millennium: An Editorial Essay,’ Asian Journal of Pentecostal Studies 1 (1998), 6.

5. David B. Barrett, World Christian Encyclopedia (New York: Oxford University Press, 1982), 815-48; ‘Statistics, Global,’ Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, eds. Stanley M. Burgess and Gary B. McGee (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1988), 810-30. For the latest statistics, see ‘Annual Statistical Table on Global Mission: 2000,’ International Bulletin of Missionary Research 24:1(Jan. 2000), 24-25.

6. The group later formed the Pentecostal Holiness Church with a link to the American counterpart. Rev. Woon-mong Nah’s deep knowledge in Oriental philosophy and its application to biblical interpretation was often introduced in his lead column in the Bok-eum Shinbo weekly. 

7. Young-hoon Lee, ‘The Future of the Korean Pentecostal Movement,’ in The Present Status of the Spirit Movement (in Korean; Seoul: International Theological Institute, 1993), 102.

8. One should remember that the fastest growing churches in Korea include not only Yoido Full Gospel Church but also non-Pentecostal churches, which appear more ‘Pentecostal’ in their message and worship style. For an excellent study, see Hong Young-gi, ‘The Background and Characteristics of the Charismatic mega-churches in Korea,’ Asian Journal of Pentecostal Studies 3:1 (2000), 99-118.

9. Menzies, ‘Reflection of a Pentecostal,’ 9-11. Also William W. Menzies and Robert P. Menzies, Spirit and Power: Foundation of Pentecostal Experience (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2000), 9.

10. For example, see Gary McGee, ed., Initial Evidence: Historical and Biblical Perspectives on the Pentecostal Doctrine of Spirit Baptism (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1991). Also in Nov 1997, a theological forum was held to discuss the issue of the initial evidence in Springfield, MO, the headquarters of the U.S. Assemblies of God. Among Asian contributions to the issue, see Simon Chan, ‘The Language Game of Glossolalia, or Making Sense of the ‘Initial Evidence’,’ in Pentecostalism in Context: Essays in Honor of William W. Menzies, eds. Wonsuk Ma and Robert P. Menzies, JPTSup 11 (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1997), 80-95. Other Asian voices are found in Asian Journal of Pentecostal Studies (AJPS), 1:2 (1998) and 2:2 (1999), which deals with this topic. The full texts are found at www.apts.edu/ajps. 

11. Wonsuk Ma, ‘Toward an Asian Pentecostal Theology,’ AJPS 1 (1998), 15-41 (16-18).

12. Theological approaches must have a good biblical foundation. Pentecostals’ interest in biblical studies, therefore, is encouraging. For the retrospect and prospect of biblical studies among Pentecostals, see Wonsuk Ma, ‘Pentecostal Biblical Studies: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,’ in Globalization of Pentecostalism: A Religion Made To Travel, eds. Murray W. Dempster, Byron D. Klaus and Douglas Petersen (Oxford and Irvine: Regnum Books, 1999), 52-69. 

13. This proposal had complex motivations. One of them is the similarity of the term ‘Assemblies of God’ in Korean to “Jehovah’s Witness”. 

14. This is called ‘presbyterianization’ in Korea. See Wonsuk Ma, ‘The Missiological Significance of the Pentecostal Movement and Our Tasks,’ a paper presented in the First Missions Convention of the Korean Assemblies of God (in Korean, Seoul, 1994), 4. Interestingly Presbyterians are cautious of Pentecostal influences on their Calvinistic faith. Chang-sup Shim, ‘Assessing the Impact of Pentecostalism on the Korean Presbyterian Church in Light of Calvin’s Theology,’ Chongshin Theological Journal 3:1 (1998), 115-131.

15. For instance, Yonggi Cho, Pneumatology (in Korean; Seoul: Seoul Books, 1981). Jung-keun Park, Defending Pentecostal Truth (in Korean; Seoul: Baekyoung Press, 1970) and idem, Pentecostal Theology (in Korean; Seoul: Gospel Publishing, 1978) are noteworthy as theological works emerging in the 1970s.

16. This does not mean that Pentecostals did not respond. for instance, Joon-bae Ahn, Rev. Yonggi Cho and the Holy Spirit Movement (in Korean; Seoul: Pakyoung Publishing, 1962).

17. For instance, ‘Critique of Pentecostal Movement,’ Church and Heresy (in Korean, a Korean Christian monthly), July 1997, 99-111 is published by the editorial department under the ‘Unmasking Heresies’ series, and explicitly categorizes the Pentecostal Movement as a heretical group. Listing the ‘heretic’ elements of the movement, the ‘editor’ who claims to have been Pentecostal once bases his criticism on his experiences. For example, among five reference works he consulted, no work is on the Pentecostal movement, while he refers to the Bible, two books criticizing the Roman Catholic church and another two against the Boerea group (a controversial Christian group in Korea).

18. International Theological Institute, Theology and Beliefs of the Yoido Full Gospel Church (in Korean, Seoul: Seoul Word, 1993).

19. Cheryl Bridges Johns, Pentecostal Formation: A Pedagogy among the Oppressed, JPTS 2 (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1993), 79.

20. J. R. Zeigler, ‘Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International (FGBMFI),’ Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, 321.

21. Ernest Williams, Systematic Theology, 3 vols. (Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 1953).

22. All the position papers adopted by General Presbytery are available in the Assemblies of God Web page (www.ag.org).

23. Kyung-bae Min, ‘Influence of the theology of Yong-do Lee to the Movement of the Spirit,’ in The Work of the Spirit in Church History: The Fourth International Theological Seminar (in Korean; Seoul: International Theological Institute, 1996), 63-64. Min strongly objects Yu’s contention by saying, ‘We are puzzled at the argument that a theological movement for the mass (Minjung) is the movement of the Spirit. If every (event in) history is interpreted as the work of the Spirit, then all the ideology in this world should be the expression of the Spirit’s work.’

24. Boo Woong Yoo, Korean Pentecostalism: Its History and Theology (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 1988).

25. The mix of Pentecostalism and Minjung theology, a variation of liberation theology, is an oddity, e.g., Paul Pierson’s comment, March 1998.

26. Min, 65.

27. Min, 62.

28. Min, 63.

29. Min, p. 74.

30. ‘Questions from the Panel and Answers from Dr. Kyung-bae Min for the Second Topic,’ in The Work of the Spirit in Church History, 109-130.

31. Myung-soo Park, ‘Christian Holiness and Social Responsibility through the Work of the Spirit: A Holiness View,’ in Christian Sanctification in the World of the Holy Spirit: The Sixth International Theological Seminar (in Korean; Seoul: International Theological Institute, 1997), p. 136 warns the danger of the ‘Pentecostal Movement... the tongue movement to become fanaticism, the healing movement to become a blessing-seeking religion... and consequently to degenerate as an ahistorical theology.’

32. Harvey Cox, The Secular City: Secularization and Urbanization in Theological Perspective (New York: MacMillan, 1966).

33. Harvey Cox, Fire from Heaven: The Rise of Pentecostal Spirituality and the Reshaping of Religion in the Twenty-First Century (Reading, MA: Addison Wesley, 1955), xv-xviii.

34. Cox, Fire from Heaven, 299-321 predicts that in the new century two religious phenomena will dominate the scene: fundamentalism and experientialism. In a sense, Pentecostal belief contains both conservatism/fundamentalism and experientialism, and its role in the coming years is expected to be significant.

35. Michael Kinnamon, ed., Signs of the Spirit: Official Report, Seventh Assembly, World Council of Churches (Geneva: WCC Publications, 1991), 37-47.

36. See Boo-woong Yoo’s argument. For the relationship between the Hwalbindang movement, a legendary resistant social movement during the Yi Dynasty, and the work of the Spirit, see Daniel J. Adams, ‘The Spirit’s Movement among the Hwalbindang of Korea,’ in Doing Theology with the Spirit’s Movement in Asia, eds., John C. England and Alan J. Torrance, ATESEA Occasional Papers 11 (Singapore: ATESEA, 1991), 155-173. The Hwalbindang movement had the ideological teaching of a new kingdom ruled by the oppressed, but there was no religious implication, whether Christian (this is a pre-Christian era in Korea) or non-Christian. 

37. For instance, The Church Is Charismatic (Geneva: World Council of Churches, 1981) is a good example. Also Association of Theological Schools in South East Asia (ATESEA) has published similar works in the ATESEA Occasional Paper series. For instance, Doing Theology with the Spirit’s Movement in Asia includes C. S. Song, ‘Telling Stories of the Spirit’s Movement in Asia’, 1-14; Yoko Yuasa, ‘The Spirit Moves through the Spirits in Noh Drama: A Study of the man-Woman Relationship’, 44-61; John Mohan Razu, ‘Signs of the Movement of the Spirit in People’s Struggles - Toward a Fusion’, 85-99. 

38. Christian Life, Oct, 1982 issue includes featured articles and reports on the course. At Fuller Seminary, various theological positions on signs and wonders were raised, and the course was discontinued subsequently. The official stance of the school was published by a study committee in Lewis B. Smedes, ed., Ministry and the Miraculous: A Case Study at Fuller Theological Seminary (Pasadena, CA: Fuller Theological Seminary, 1987).

39. The following discussion is an excerpt of Wonsuk Ma, ‘A ‘First Waver’s Looks at the ‘Third Wave’: A Pentecostal Reflection on Charles Kraft’s Power Encounter Terminology,’ Pneuma 19 (1997), 189-206. 

40. Popularized by Rev. Ki-dong Kim, a Baptist preacher in his healing and exorcistic ministry, the group has been criticized for demonstrating an excessive emphasis on demons. Their popular demonology includes the fact that blindness, for instance, is caused by a blind demon in a human being. See Ki Dong Kim, The Divine Healings and Miracles of Christ I Experienced (Seoul: Berea Press, 1989). 

41. Russell P. Spittler, ‘Spirituality, Pentecostal and Charismatic,’ Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, p. 804.

42. A collection of discussions of Christian/Pentecostal spirituality by mainline Christian scholars and Pentecostals, see Pentecostal Movements as an Ecumenical Challenge, eds. Jürgen Moltmann and Karl-Josef Kuschel, Concilium 1996/3 (London: SCM; Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1996). Categories include ‘healing and deliverance,’ ‘tongues and prophecy,’ ‘praying in the Spirit,’ and ‘born again: baptism and the Spirit.’

43. J. R. Goff, Jr., ‘Parham, Charles Fox,’ Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, 660.

44. S. Shemeth, ‘Allen, Asa Alonso,’ Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, 8.

45. Ray C. Hughes contended, ‘The future of the Pentecostal Movement depends entirely upon the recovery of holy living’, a personal interview with the author in Inchon, Korea on Oct 19, 1997.

46. For the characteristics of Pentecostal sermons and their contribution to Korean Christianity, see Julie Ma and Wonsuk Ma, ‘An Immanent Encounter with the Transcendental: Proclamation and Manifestation in Pentecostal Worship,’ a paper presented at World Alliance of Reformed Churches and Pentecostal Dialogue (Chicago, May 1997).

47. Donald A. McGavran, ‘What Makes Pentecostal Churches Grow?’ in Azusa Street and Beyond: Pentecostal Missions and Church Growth in the Twentieth Century, ed. L. Grant McClung, Jr. (South Plainfield, NJ: Bridge, 1986), 122.

48. Recently see Yong-gi Hong, ‘The Backgrounds and Characteristics of the Charismatic Mega-Churches in Korea,’ Asian Journal of Pentecostal Studies 3:1 (2000), 99-118.

49. For instance, Robert Priest, Thomas Campbell, and Bradford A. Mullen, ‘Missiological Syncretism: The New Animistic Paradigm,’ in Spiritual Power and Missions: Raising the Issues, ed. Edward Rommen, Evangelical Missiological Society Series 3 (Pasadena, William Carey Library, 1995), 9-87 accuse that the recent spiritual emphasis of the ‘third wave’ leads into Christian animism. Recently Jong Chun Park, Crawl with God, Dance in the Spirit!: A Creative Formation of Korean Theology of the Spirit (Nashville: Abingdon, 1998) regularly refers to Korean Pentecostalism as ‘Korean Pentecostal Shamanism,’ e.g., 154.

50. Stan Guthrie, ‘Korean Church Catches a Whiff of Trouble in the Air,’ Evangelical Missions Quarterly 32 (1996), 198-204 reports the current status of the Korean church. This section is a summary of Wonsuk Ma, ‘Korean Church ‘Slowth’’ (an unpublished study, 1997).

51. Bon Rin Ro, ‘The Korean Church: Growing or Declining?’ Evangelical Review of Theology 19 (1995), 336-353, esp. 349.

52. Ro, 343-48.

53. See for example a Feb, 1997 issue of Pentecostal Evangel, a weekly magazine of the U.S. Assemblies of God, or ‘Is America on the Verge of Spiritual Awakening?’ June 8, 1997. For similar revivals, see Ken Horn, ‘Grand Rapids: Waves of the Spirit,’ Pentecostal Evangel, July 13, 1997, 12-15.

54. It is an irony that many Korean pastors visit Pensacola only to adapt external phenomena such as worship styles, and ignoring the accumulated prayer as the real force behind the revival. It is exactly what Korean pastors used to criticize in the past that the world came to Korea to witness church growth and only to learn some programs but leaving the prayer elements behind. 

55. The major message at Pensacola can be summarized as ‘repentance and salvation.’ It is well demonstrated by the fact that between June 18, 1995 and July 1997, 102,000 received Jesus as their personal savior. Marcia Ford, ‘The Blessing Spreads Worldwide,’ Charisma, July 1997, 56. Recently World Assemblies of God fellowship reports that about a million new members were added to the fellowship in 1999 alone.

56. The following discussion is a summary and modification of Wonsuk Ma, ‘The Work of the Holy Spirit in the Social Dimension: A Case of Korean Pentecostal Church,’ in Christian Sanctification in the Work of the Holy Spirit: The Sixth International Theological Seminar (in Korean; Seoul: International Theological Institute, 1997), 141-75.

57. Anthea Bulter, ‘Facets of Pentecostal Spirituality and Justice,’ in Consultation with Pentecostals in the Americas: San Jose, Costa Rica, 4-8 June 1996 (Geneva: World Council of Churches, 1996), 28-44.

58. Walter J. Hollenweger, ‘From Azusa Street to the Toronto Phenomenon: Historical Roots of the Pentecostal Movements,’ in Pentecostal Movements as an Ecumenical Challenge, Concillium 1996/3, eds. Jürgen Moltmann and Karl-Josef Kuschel (London: SCM; Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1966), 12.

59. This does not mean that the Pentecostal churches did not participate in ecumenical coorperation at all. For instance, the U. S. Assemblies of God joined in 1920, only six years after the formation of the denomination, the Foreign Missions Conference of North America which eventually came under the National Council of Churches. This ‘ecumenical’ relationship continued until 1959. See Cecil M. Robeck, Jr., ‘The Assemblies of God and Ecumenical Cooperation: 1920-1965,’ in Pentecostalism in Context: Essays in Honor of William W. Menzies, Wonsuk Ma and Robert P. Menzies, eds. (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1997), 107-150.

60. Butler, 37. The apartheid issue and the Apostolic Faith Mission, see J. Nico Horn, ‘South African Pentecostals and Apartheid: A Short Case Study of the Apostolic Faith Mission,’ in Pentecost, Mission and Ecumenism, 157-167, and Japie J. Lapoorta, Unity or Division? The Unity Struggle of the Black Churches within the Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa (privately published by the author, Kuils River, South Africa, n.d.). One should also note that David DuPlessis, who is widely viewed as a pioneer in Pentecostal ecumenism is rather negatively viewed because of his role as General Secretary in adopting a segregation stance for the Apostolic Faith Mission. 

61. Hoff, 248.

62. Ron Ornsby, ‘How to Be Downwardly Mobile,’ Evangelical Missions Quarterly 29 (1993), 392-400 shows its theological motivation and practical approaches.

63. Murray W. Dempster, ‘Evangelism, Social concerns and the Kingdom of God,’ in Called and Empowered: Global Mission in Pentecostal Perspective, eds. Murray W. Dempster, Byron D. Klaus and Douglas Pedersen (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1991), 27 argues that a genuine regeneration in a personal level is the major motivation for moral life, commitment for mission and social transformation.

64. Douglas Petersen, Not by Might Nor by Power: A Pentecostal Theology of Social Concern in Latin America (Oxford: Regnum, 1996).

65. Gray B. McGee, This Gospel Shall Be Preached: A History and Theology of Assemblies of God Foreign Missions to 1959 (Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 1986), 15 establishes a close link between missionary practices and theological formation.

66. L. Grant McClung, Jr., ‘Pentecostal/Charismatic Perspectives on a Missiology for the Twenty-First Century,’ Pneuma 16 (1994), 14.

67. For instance, see the recent work of John Michael Penney, The Missionary Emphasis of Lukan Pneumatology, JPTSup 12 (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1997), especially 96-110. Also for the unique Lukan missiological pneumatology particularly in comparison with Pauline pneumatology, see Roger Stronstad, The Charismatic Theology of St. Luke (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1984) and Robert P. Menzies, Empowered for Witness: The Spirit in Luke-Acts, JPTSup 6 (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1994), 13.

68. For a Pentecostal scholar who studied Pauline pneumatology, see Gordon D. Fee, God’s Empowering Presence: The Holy Spirit in the Letters of Paul (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1994).

69. James R. Goff, Jr., ‘Initial Tongues in the Theology of Charles Fox Parham,’ in Initial Evidence, 64-65.

70. Wonsuk Ma, ‘The Empowerment of the Spirit of God in Luke-Acts: An Old Testament Perspective’ (a paper to be presented at the Evangelical Theological Society Annual Meeting, Nashville, TN on Nov 17, 2000).

71. For instance, George Ladd’s kingdom theology has made a profound impact in Evangelical missiology, such as Arthur Glasser, Biblical Perspective in Mission: Biblical Theology of Mission (Pasadena, CA: Fuller Theological Seminary, 1982) and Charles van Engen, God’s Missionary People: Rethinking the Purpose of the Local Church (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1993).

72. Although not typically Pentecostal in nature, Melvin L. Hodge, The Indigenous Church (Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 1953) made a significant contribution by a Pentecostal missiologist.

73. For the missionary nature of Pentecostal theology and the current status of missions among Korean Pentecostal churches, see Wonsuk Ma, ‘Missiological Challenges of Pentecostal Theology,’ A paper(in Korea) read at the first Assemblies of God Missions Conference, Seoul, Korea, 1994, published in Full Gospel Weekly News, Nov. 1996.

74. Vinson Synan, The Spirit Says ‘Grow’ (Monrovia, CA: MARC, 1992), 39 calls the early Pentecostal missionaries ‘missionaries of the one-way ticket. This reflects their ultimate commitment that they did not plan to return home. In fact, many of them never returned home and were buried in their mission fields after decades of service.

75. This is the thesis of Gordon D. Fee, The First Epistle to the Corinthians, New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1987), 12.

76. A comparative study between Pentecostals and a tribal group in the northern Philippines is a good example: Julie Ma, ‘A Comparison of Two Worldviews: Kankana-ey and Pentecostal,’ in Pentecostalism in Context, 265-90.

77. For the last point, see Wonsuk Ma, ‘The Spirit of God upon Leaders of Ancient Israelite Society and Irogot Tribal Churches,’ in Pentecostalism in Context, 291-316.

78. Adolf von Harnack, The Expansion of Christianity in the First Three Centuries, vol. 1, trans. James Moffatt (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904), 152-80.

79. The Current Status of the Spirit Movement, ch. 8 describes the rapid expansion of the Pentecostal Movement with a strong emphasis on signs and wonders.

80. A good example is found in South America, where Evangelical churches are generally viewed as an ‘American religion’ and their growth has been relatively marginal, while Pentecostal churches have been often accepted as a ‘South American religion’ due to its unique worldview which is rather similar to that of South American. See José Miguez Bonino, ‘How Does United States Presence Help, Hinder or Compromise Christian Mission in Latin America,’ Review and Expositor 74 (1977), 174-77, and an interview with J. M. Bonino in Douglas Petersen, ‘The Formation of Popular, National, Autonomous Pentecostal Churches in Central America,’ Pneuma 16 (1994), 29.

81. Wonsuk Ma, ‘The Role of Power Encounter in Contextualization among Tribal People: A Case of Kankana-eys in the Philippines’ (unpublished paper, 1995).

82. Julie C. Ma, ‘Santuala: A caste of Pentecostal Syncretism,’ Asian Journal of Pentecostal Studies 3:1 (2000), 33-66 and Makito Nagasawa, ‘Makuya Pentecostalism: A Survey,’ Asian Journal of Pentecostal Studies 3:2 (2000), 203-218.

83. ‘A First for AGAMA – Missionary Training Program in Baguio, Philippines,’ AGAMA Vision 2 (3rd Quarter, 1997), 5-6.

84. For instance, Asia Pacific Theological Seminary offers M.A. in Missions, M.Div. with Missiology concentration, and Master of Theology in Pentecostal Studies with various concentrations including missions. Asian Seminary of Christian Ministry also offers similar programs.

85. Barbara Cavaness, ‘God Calling Women Assemblies of God Missions,’ Pneuma 16 (1994), 52.

86. There are several books on the life of McPherson. For example, Edith L. Blumhofer, Aimee Semple McPherson: Everybody’s Sister (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1993).

87. David Barrett, Schism and Renewal in Africa (Nairobi: Oxford University Press, 1968) quoted by Frances Hiebert, ‘Missionary Women as Models in the Cross-cultural Context,’ Missiology 10 (1982), 457-58.

88. Cox, Fire from Heaven, 104-105.

89. Quoted in Paul Pierson’s lecture for the course ‘History of Missionary Movement’ (Fuller Theological Seminary, 1990).

90. Also noted are two other scholarly publications: publications of International Theological Institute of its annual Holy Spirit seminar and The Spirit and Church, a Korean/English periodical published by Gospel Theological Seminary (Korean Four Square). In addition, Hansei publishes an annual collection of professors’ studies.

91. It is also encouraging that the editor of the revised edition of the Dictionary has already approached Korean Pentecostal community for such a translation and special edition of the Dictionary. 

92. http://www.pctii.org.

93. Theological Symposium for Asian Pentecostal Leaders during the 18th Pentecostal World Conference in Seoul, Korea in Nov 1998 epitomizes such role of Korean Pentecostals. The Yoido Full Gospel Church through International Theological Institute provided leadership, venue, support staff and logistics. During this program, the very first in the history of PWC, sixteen quality papers were presented and about a dozen by Asians. A similar program on Non-western Pentecostalism is in preparation during the 19th PWC in Los Angeles in May 2001.