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Monday, 28 July 2014

"Why is your info more accurate than others'?"

by Archibald Thackeray

When the question above was put to me in an email the other day I wasn't sure whether I was being complimented or challenged - in fact, I'm still not sure because the sender has not responded to my reply.

The question did prompt me to think that I should create a post that would explain why the information found on this blog should be trusted.

The good news is that the answer is straightforward - research; primary source research and the perusal of the work of bona fide scholars. I do not traffic in internet rumors or sloppy analysis of the Latter Rain Movement (what a profound waste of time!) Rather, I examine the primary sources and read the scholars and distill that information into these blog posts.

So what is a primary source?

*** The Latter Rain Movement participants still alive are a primary source. A list of them is provided in the post, "How it started - the basic facts". An example of the utilization of such a source is the 30-minute video of Patricia Beall Gruits linked to on this blog. That is very valuable stuff!

*** The writings of the Latter Rain participants are also primary source materials; things like the Latter Rain Evangels that Bethesda Missionary Temple started producing in 1951 (these can be accessed at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center and the library at Oral Roberts University). M. D. "Mom" Beall's book, The Plumb Line, her serialized autobiography, "A Hand on My Shoulder", and Hugh Layzell's book, Sons of His Purpose, are pertinent examples. Violet Kiteley's article "Remembering the Latter Rain", on the Charisma magazine website is yet another example ... and there are many more.

*** Recordings - both video and audio - of deceased LRM participants give us a taste of the revival period. Very helpful in this regard is a CD of James Lee Beall recounting the history of the Bethesda Missionary Temple in a talk given to a Full Gospel Businessmen's convention in Washington, D. C. back in the 1970s. Another example is a video of a sermon by Peter Morrow.

Then who are the scholars writing about the LRM?

There are basically three (I am not including Assemblies of God scholars who have a pejorative view of the LRM):

*** Richard M. Riss ... Riss wrote his master's degree thesis on the LRM and it was later published as a book, Latter Rain: The Latter Rain Movement of 1948 and The Mid-twentieth Century Evangelical Awakening (it is currently out-of-print). Additionally, his thesis file containing his correspondence with LRM principals is bound and available to the public at the Regent College library in Vancouver, Canada. Riss also wrote another book that has a chapter on the LRM, it is entitled, A Survey of 20-Century Revival Movements in America. And he published two articles about the LRM:  "The Latter Rain Movement of 1948" in PNEUMA: The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies (4.1, 1982, 32-45) and "The Latter Rain and Healing Revivals" in New Wine (October 1980, 30-32).

Riss has a PhD from Drew University and is currently a professor of history and director of assessment at Pillar University in New Jersey.

*** D. William Faupel ... Faupel devoted 125 pages of his PhD dissertation to the LRM. The dissertation, "The Everlasting Gospel: The Significance of Eschatology in the Development of Pentecostal Thought", was submitted to the University of Birmingham (UK) and written under the supervision of noted Pentecostal historian Walter Hollenweger. The dissertation was developed into a book, but without the section on the LRM. He also was asked to write a chapter on the LRM in the book, Winds from the North: Canadian Contributions to the Pentecostal Movement. That chapter is entitled, "The New Order of the Latter Rain: Restoration or Renewal?" The book is expensive - well over $100 - but Faupel's chapter can be purchased separately here.

Faupel, now retired, was an outstanding librarian and archivist. A collection of materials he gathered spans 50 linear feet at the Fuller Theological Seminary library.

His parents were LRM adherents and his dissertation is dedicated to Pentecostal pioneer Stanley Frodsham and noted LRM figure Mom Beall.

*** Mark D. Hutchinson ... Hutchinson is an Australian historian and, like Faupel, he contributed a chapter to Winds from the North: Canadian Contributions to the Pentecostal Movement. His chapter is entitled, "The Latter Rain Movement and the Phenomenon of Global Return" and can be purchased here.

Reviewer Martin Mittelstadt wrote, "Though some might suggest that the Latter Rain movement of the late 1940s produces minimal enduring impact, Hutchinson argues persuasively for its historical, theological, and liturgical (worship/music) influence upon various expressions of the burgeoning Charismatic Renewal."

Hutchinson's PhD was earned at the University of New South Wales. The Australian and New Zealand events he brings to light are welcome additions, as is his non-North American perspective on the LRM. He is a prodigious writer and a list of his works and the number of times they have been cited can be accessed here.

There! ... the consumption and faithful distillation of all of the above is why you should trust the information on this blog ... plus, the fact that I witnessed a great deal of the LRM personally.

4 comments:

  1. please contact me elijahx@gmail.com have written latter rain book knew many of these awesome men and women of God

    ReplyDelete
  2. oh my real name is Dr R S Hoekstra maybe that will help - elijahx@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hello Mr. Thackeray- I am deeply impressed with the honour and dignity with which you communicate about these Latter Rain folks, some of whom I consider personal mentors, forerunners, and friends or acquaintences. I am interested in beginning a dialogue with you and was wondering if you have an email address through which you would prefer to receive more lengthy communication? rdh*gmx.co.uk

    ReplyDelete