Download By What Authority? The Rise of Personality Cults in American by Richard Quebedeaux PDF

By Richard Quebedeaux

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For three decades Oral Roberts has been the most prominant pen­ tecostal in the United States. His healing revivals from 1 947 until 1 967, under the great "cathedral tent, " attracted as many as twenty-five thousand people in America and up to sixty thousand in other coun­ tries. Conducted in the typical pentecostal revival style, these meetings centered on prayer for the sick who stood in "healing lines, " waiting for the evangelist to "touch" them and pray for their recovery. Roberts was raised in a poor family.

At least it looked pretty good on TV. But Oral Roberts is still a pentecostal and still a healer, despite his adaptation of evangelism and divine healing to the modern era. Now, Celebrity Leaders in American Christianity: 1 86 5-1 9 60 35 however, he insists on a working alliance between faith and medicine, spiritual healers and doctors, symbolized most explicitly by the estab­ lishment of a medical school at Oral Roberts University and the con­ struction of a huge, patient-centered "City of Faith" medical center in Tulsa.

It be­ gan as a racially integrated, enthusiastic form of Protestantism in the ethos of fundamentalism, but it was even more centered on religious experience than the born-again revivalistic Christianity of Moody and Sunday. In fundamentalism, the felt experience of conversion-of giving The Rise of the Religious Personality Cult one's heart to Jesus-was the primary focus, the fundamental need to be met. But in pentecostalism, conversion was only the beginning, the "first work of grace" to be followed by an even more powerful-and visible-experiential work of grace, "baptism in the Holy Spirit.

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