Europe

A Little Raising of Hands

How the Pentecostal World Conference compares to your average evangelical conference.

The Pentecostal World Conference in Sweden is very Pentecostal and very worldly—meaning they've attracted some 1,600 delegates from 74 countries. This is a small PWC as it goes, I've been told (some have filled stadiums, apparently), but you wouldn't know it by the enthusiasm of the delegates. And the theme may be prosaic ("Equip Yourself, Others, and the Church"), but the people are anything but that.

Stockholm is a calm and orderly city, which is a bit of a contrast to Pentecostalism. But the combination works. A little raising of hands and speaking in tongues, followed by the raising of a fork and lunch at a cute restaurant around the corner. The conference is held in the historic Philadelphia Church, which turns 100 on Monday.

For me this was another full day of networking with Pentecostal pastors and theologians. As an introvert, I call this is net working. I'm exhausted by noon! But I'm not getting paid to read theology here, so onward I trudge to the next appointment. The ...

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