In the course of the 20th century, Pentecostalism expanded from a small revival movement to a global presence comparable in its extent and variety to Roman Catholicism or Anglicanism. Yet few people in mainstream U.S. churches know much about it, and what little they do know relates more to Pentecostal practice than to Pentecostal thought.
Walk through the book section at your local Walmart and chances are you'll find popular titles written by individuals within the Pentecostal and charismatic movement, such as Joyce Meyer and Joel Osteen. Flip on your television and you might encounter one of the most recognized ministers with a Pentecostal background, T. D. Jakes, dispensing advice alongside Dr. Phil.
The 20th century may be recorded as the ecumenical century, but it certainly will be noted as the century of the Pentecostal renewal, both as a new church phenomenon and as a charismatic impulse within Catholicism and classical Protestantism.
Ever since the 1970s the theologies of distinctive groups of Christians have aroused much interest around the globe. Although such groups have long played vital roles in churches, it was once supposed that they had no theology.