Toward a Pentecostal Solution to the Refugee Crises in the European Union

October 30, 2015 by  
Filed under Featured, Missions, News

SyriaCrisisRefugees0215Rev. Dony K. Donev, M.Div., D.Min.

We saw them everywhere during our ministry trips through Europe. Long columns of dark bearded men, covered women and malnourished, underdressed little children. They fill the refuge villages in Bulgaria near the Turkish border. Many of them were forced to travel in long trains from Austria to Hungary, Germany and all the way to the large Muslim ghettoes of Amsterdam and East Berlin. And even at the Dover side of the English Channel, where tens of miles long truck columns were parked directly on the interstate waiting for the refugees to pass with the ferryboats.

Every minister/missionary should at least wonder about a solution to this largest migration wave of the century. What is the proper human, Biblical approach toward these people regardless if they are persecuted Christians, migrating terrorists or just refugees without a country? What would be the Pentecostal (in the Spirit of Pentecost) response to their fate?

Several outspoken Pentecostal denominations have already raised awareness to the issue with a call for a “Christian assimilation.” Frankly, “assimilation” as an anthropological term is outdated even in the most assimilative cultures in the world. In the United States, once a melting pot of ethnos and cultures, modern day emigration takes terms in creating subcultures. In such cultural setting, assimilation is fairly hard to achieve and quite imperialistic as an approach. It is also not a religious term – the proper faith language being “proselytizing.” Even the Bible states that at the end “every tongue shall confess” picturing a multitude of ethnoses, not merely one assimilated culture. With all this, a call for cultural assimilation on part of Christianity borders a call for crusades, even the thought of which is inapplicable in 21st century’s society.

On the part of Islam, a Muslim subculture allowing assimilation without conflict and resistance will be practically impossible to achieve. And how exactly do you convert with words in a culture that allows speaking only to men? We all know of ministries or missions that have done successful work among Muslims, but what is observed in today’s context of ministry among Muslim migrants is unfamiliar to even experienced missionaries. A Muslim subculture is being created so fast, so vast and so unified throughout European Union countries, that it threatens to assimilate the Christian local host-culture before being assimilated or culturized within Western Christendom. Pentecostal churches throughout Europe are simply not prepared for such challenge, as confirm leaders of “Maranatha Ministries,” the largest Pentecostal church in the Netherlands.

The single greatest challenge is perhaps that the Islamic culture is not like any of the known subcultures in the Western World. While Hispanics focus on their language and Asians accent on their heritage and predecessors, the Islamic subcultures are being centralized around the Sharia Law. The newly forming subculture then is not simply ethnic or heritage oriented, but a legal precedent – often in direct contradiction with the law of the land. How do we engage the Sharia Law mindset with the law of Grace to effectively penetrate with the Message of Salvation such closely guarded culture, will be the answer to this current dilemma of ministry. Although not a complete solution, the following practical steps are much more Christ like and suitable to the situation than a theoretical assimilation, which may prove to be nothing more than a 21st century crusade:

  1. Fast from your daily Starbucks (Costa, or coffee brand of your choice) for a month. With the money you can sponsor one refugee child out of starvation. The cost is the same, but saving a child tastes much better than java
  2. Team up with a Pentecostal church in Europe, which is directly working within the refugee camps. It will not be hard to find one as only a few Pentecostal churches in Western Europe are involved in refugee work
  3. Prayerfully consider going to Europe yourself and contribute your time and resources toward a refugee camp.

Diamonds in the “Rough and Ready” (Pentecostal Series)

September 20, 2015 by  
Filed under Featured, News, Research

      1. Alive, alive! (A personal testimony)
      2. Church of God Primitivism
      3. Bulgarian Church of God
      4. J.W. Buckalew
      5. WAR ON THE SAINTS: Revival Dawn and the Baptism of the Spirit
      6. How Jezebel Killed One of the Greatest Revivals Ever
      7. Pentecostal Primitivism Preserved
      8. Why revival came? by Dr. Charles Conn
      9. Azusa Street Sermons
      10. The FORGOTTEN ROOTS OF THE AZUSA STREET REVIVAL
      11. First person to speak in tongues in the Assemblies of God was William Jethro Walthall of the Holiness Baptist Churches of Southwestern Arkansas
      12. The Work of the Spirit in Rhode Island (1874-75)

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Diamonds in the “Rough and Ready” (upcoming series)

July 25, 2015 by  
Filed under Featured, News

      1. Alive, alive! (A personal testimony)
      2. Church of God Primitivism
      3. Bulgarian Church of God
      4. J.W. Buckalew
      5. WAR ON THE SAINTS: Revival Dawn and the Baptism of the Spirit
      6. How Jezebel Killed One of the Greatest Revivals Ever
      7. Pentecostal Primitivism Preserved
      8. Why revival came? by Dr. Charles Conn
      9. Azusa Street Sermons, etc.

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95 Years Ago Voronaev Set Sail on a Pentecostal Mission to Europe

July 15, 2015 by  
Filed under Books, Featured, Missions, News

51Sa1IcA8OL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_[1]Rev. Ivan Voronaev’s last letter to Assemblies of God headquarters in Springfield, Missouri was received by Rev. J. Roswell Flower on June 22, 1920 and was marked “He plans to return to Russia.” The letter outlined Voronaev’s six-point mission strategy:

  1. he was leaving with his family and some brothers from New York to Russia on July 13, 1920 on the steamboat “Madonna”
  2. Voronaev trusted the Lord for the finances necessary to complete the mission
  3. First Russian Assembly of New York was poor and unable to meet the ministry expenses
  4. Voronaev was unable to get in touch with Assemblies of God missionaries Johnson and Schmidt
  5. but planned to preach in Russia
  6. finally, the group had decided to purchase Russian Bibles and New Testaments in New York to take to Russia.

The group included the families of Voronaev, Zaplishny, Koltovich, along with V. Klibik and N. Kardanov from Ossetia. They could only purchase tickets for the deck, which proposed problems for the children during the cold ocean nights. According to Voronaev’s later records, the group set sail from New York on July 15, 1920 (thou Martha C. Zaplishny- Jackson recalls July 8th or 17th in various statements). The only standing proof for the exact departure date is the ship’s records with the French Fabre Line.

Madonna sailed via Marseille in France and Naples, Italy. The group’s trip to Europe included a stop in Greece before reaching Constantinople on August 10, 1920. Both Voronaev and Zaplishny’s children have pictures from visiting “several other Balkan countries,” thou not well documented and quite improbable. Consecutively, when the Zaplishny family had to flee Bulgaria in 1924, they used the same route taking a train to Cherbourg, France and then a boat to New York’s Ellis Island.

Through all these difficulties, Voronaev reached Bulgaria by the end of 1920 and Odessa in the U.S.S.R by August 12, 1921. The movements his mission started from Varna to Vladivostock were Pentecostal pioneers for this part of the Old World. By the time Voronaev was arrested in 1930, over 400 Pentecostal churches with 20,000 members strong were started by his ministry throughout Eastern Europe.

Read about the legacy of Ivan Voronaev:

More about the Voronaev’s children:

Ivan Voronaev in the historical archives:

Doctrine of Free Will among Bulgarian Protestant and Pentecostal Believers

May 10, 2015 by  
Filed under Featured, News

Slide11by Dony K. Donev, D.Min.

Historical and Doctrinal Formation of Holiness Teachings and Praxis among Bulgarian Pentecostals (Research presentation prepared for the Society of Pentecostal Studies, Seattle, 2013 – Lakeland, 2015, thesis in partial fulfillment of the degree of D. Phil., Trinity College)

Another peculiar characteristic present among early Pentecostals around the globe was the subject of free will. This was not a problem for the movement in Bulgaria. As strange as it may sound, among all publications and teachings by missionaries in Bulgaria during the 19th century there is no mention of Calvinism, election or predestination. Because Bulgaria’s traditional Eastern Orthodox orientation, both Congregational and Methodist missionaries taught Armenian free will. Even though many Bulgarian ministers were educated in the Calvinistic schools like Princeton and Auburn, Calvinism never picked up among Bulgarian Protestants. With the explosive growth of Bulgaria’s Pentecostals in the 1920s, this Armenian theological heritage was widely accepted amongst the movement.

First Pentecostal Missionaries to Bulgaria (1920)

April 25, 2015 by  
Filed under Featured, Missions, News

Slide5by Dony K. Donev, D.Min.

Historical and Doctrinal Formation of Holiness Teachings and Praxis among Bulgarian Pentecostals (Research presentation prepared for the Society of Pentecostal Studies, Seattle, 2013 – Lakeland, 2015, thesis in partial fulfillment of the degree of D. Phil., Trinity College)

Interestingly enough, the arrival of the first Pentecostal missionaries to Bulgaria was not associated with starting new churches. Neither was it purposing a takeover of existing protestant congregations or the traditional for Bulgaria Eastern Orthodoxy. First Pentecostal missionaries Voronaev (far left) and Zaplishny served as a pastor in the United States, but their goal in Bulgaria was to preach Pentecost in already established churches. Zaplyshny’s wife Olga, who was from Bulgaria, enjoyed her home church which was more than sufficient for the hand full of believers.

It was common in 1920 that whole congregations of traditional protestant churches in Bulgaria would convert to Pentecostalism. However, it was not until almost a decade later when in 1928 the nephew of Olga Zaplishny – Nicolas Nikoloff who was educated in the States was sent by the Assemblies of God to organize the Pentecostal movement in Bulgaria. Initially only 7 congregations agreed to his proposal to be included into the new Pentecostal Union and registered with the government. They were predominantly in Southern Bulgaria around the city of Bourgas where the Zaplishny family settled and labored. The rest remained under the leadership of Stoyan Tinchev (far right) calling themselves Free Church of God. They later formed churches in North Central Bulgaria, near the city of Varna where Voronaev resided.

Less than a decade old, the Bulgarian Pentecostalism movement split between the churches that registered with the government and the churches which refused to register. There were some later differences in their view on sanctification, Baptism with the Holy Spirit, leadership and organizational structure. Nevertheless, the preaching of Pentecost became the entry point for Spirit baptism among mainline churches and new converts.

The gifts of the Spirit were also contributing their part in the work. A well known example, in the first Baptist church in Bulgaria, the pastor’s daughter received the Holy Spirit and the whole church followed. And there are even some who suggest, that glassollalia had been previously experienced by some orthodox mystics in Bulgaria as related to the Russian Molokans from the Romanina city of Tulcha. With all this evidence, the baptism with the Holy Spirit was viewed as mandatory for salvation among early Bulgarian Pentecostals. Along with salvation and water baptism, it became known as “the fullness” of spiritual experience. One could not go to heaven without “the fullness!”

The Everlasting Gospel: The Significance of Eschatology in the Development of Pentecostal Thought

April 5, 2015 by  
Filed under Books, Featured, News

faupel everlasting gospelThe Everlasting Gospel: The Significance of Eschatology in the Development of Pentecostal Thought by D.W. Faupel follows the following outline:

  1. The Pentecostal Message: In this chapter Faupel explores the pre-formation of the Pentecostal message. He relates its content to the Full Gospel, which includes: salvation, sanctification, baptism with the Holy Spirit, healing and second coming.
  2. Context of Pentecostal Thought: In this chapter Faupel gives a brief sketch of the American context at the end of the 19th century. His focus on the American culture as ground for Pentecostalism, however, seemed quite narrow especially in retrospect to the original glassolalia experience by the disciples on the Day of Pentecost.
  3. The Pentecostal Message: Faupel offers an interesting observation on the lives, messages, ministries and outcomes of three major pre-Pentecostal American figures. He writes of J.A. Dowie. Frank W. Sandford and Charles Parham.
  4. The Coming of the Latter Rain: Faupel begins the story of Seymuor as a continuation of the historical formation of the Pentecostal Movement linking it back to the ministry of Parham. He explores the beginning of the Azusa Street revival and its affect on Los Angeles, the United States and worldwide.
  5. Defining the Parameters of Pentecostal Though: The end of Faupel’s story focuses on the outcomes of the Latter Rain phenomenon. Main concern of the plot is the ministry of Durham in Chicago, who proposes the idea of Finished Work. Durham claims that thought Calvary there are only two works of grace, the salvation experience and the baptism with the Holy Spirit. The sanctification, he proposes, comes in the life of the believer through the salvation experience.

Presenting at the Society for Pentecostal Studies in Southeastern University on “Historical and Doctrinal Formation of Holiness Teachings and Praxis among Bulgarian Pentecostals” (Part 2)

January 25, 2015 by  
Filed under News, Publication, Research

Presenting at the Society for Pentecostal Studies in Southeastern University on “Historical and Doctrinal Formation of Holiness Teachings and Praxis among Bulgarian Pentecostals” (Part 2)

Pentecostal and Charismatic Journals

August 10, 2014 by  
Filed under Featured, News, Publication

pentecostal

Online Pentecostal Academic Journals

August 5, 2014 by  
Filed under Featured, News, Research

pentecostal

Asian Journal of Pentecostal Studies (AJPS) – associated with the Asia Pacific Theological Seminary in the Philippines (Assemblies of God Philippines) – volumes from 1998-present – FREE ONLINE

Australasian Pentecostal Studies (APS) – 1999-present – FREE ONLINE

Canadian Journal of Pentecostal-Charismatic Christianity – 2010-present – FREE ONLINE

Cyberjournal for Pentecostal-Charismatic Research – 1997-2013 – FREE ONLINE

Encounter: Journal for Pentecostal Ministry – associated with the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary – volumes from 2004-present – FREE ONLINE

Journal of the European Pentecostal Theological Association (JEPTA) – associated with the European Pentecostal Theological Association – volumes from 1981-present – FREE ONLINE through 2009 / Members access to 2010-present

Journal for Pentecostal Theology (JPT) – volumes from 1992-present – Members access only

The Pentecostal Educator – associated with the World Alliance for Pentecostal Theological Education – volumes 2014-present – FREE ONLINE [FORTHCOMING]

PentecoStudies: Online Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements – 2004-present – subscription

Pneuma: Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies – volumes from 1979-present – Members access only

PneumAfrica: The Online Journal of African Pentecostal Christianity – associated with the Association for Pentecostal Theological Education in Africa – volumes from 2013-present – FREE ONLINE

Pneuma Review – volumes from 1998-present – FREE ONLINE

I have intentionally not included the more pastoral and popular publications: Paraclete (1967-1995), Enrichment Journal (1995-present), or Enrich: A Journal for Pentecostal Ministry.

[CURRENT ON JULY 19, 2014]

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