In ancient Corinth today, seven Doric columns look down upon the tumbled debris of a once great city. At Caesarea marble pillars lie desolate on the shore of a formerly magnificent harbor, waves gently washing the marks of the erosive eons. Above the ghostly streets of Ephesus soar the skeletal remains of a tremendous theater. Seats and stage are empty. No Greek drama disturbs the silence. Rather, the silence is the drama. Not far away the base of a column protrudes above swamp water just enough to whisper the transient glory of Diana of the Ephesians and her mighty temple.
The three cities slumber on in the deep, dreamless sleep of the ages, sharing a common silence which is broken only by the sounds of nature. The tongues of men have been stilled. But the cities share something else, which centuries after their death is causing men to look to them once more. In striking contrast to their noiseless present, each of them, with Jerusalem, holds a common memory of that strange and lively phenomenon of the early Church—the practice of speaking in tongues other than those commonly heard in their streets. And today Bible scholars, theologians, ministers, and laymen are scrutinizing the New Testament passages dealing with these occurrences. Not many months ago these same people showed relatively little interest in the subject despite a half-century of aggressive promotion on the part of the Pentecostal movement. For the movement was outside the historic, main-line denominations. Now it is within, and clergy and laity have been driven to a probing of the Scriptures and church history for answers to questions and explanations of phenomena pressed hard upon them by fellow ministers and parishioners. And assessments are about as varied ...1
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