Catch the Fire: Soaking Prayer and Charismatic Renewal

Catch the Fire: Soaking Prayer and Charismatic Renewal

by Michael Wilkinson, Peter Althouse


View All Available Formats & Editions
Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


A recent phenomenon of charismatic renewal took place in Toronto in the mid-1990s. Commonly known as the "Toronto Blessing" and operated by the former Vineyard Church leaders John and Carol Arnott, the renewal was defined by reports of uncontrollable laughter, weeping, speaking in tongues, animal noises, and falling on the floor during worship. Sympathetic Christians embraced these practices while others who believed that this form of worship boarded on spectacle rejected them. By the end of the 1990s most people thought that the renewal was over.

Yet, in the first decade of the 21st century, the authors—a sociologist and a theologian—heard rumors that the Toronto church, now known as "Catch the Fire," was still holding mass meetings with upwards of 2,000 people in attendance. They also learned of an emerging practice of "soaking prayer," an adaption of Pentecostal-charismatic prayer that, participants and leaders claim, facilitates and expands the reception of divine love in order to give it away in acts of forgiveness, reconciliation, compassion, and benevolence. Soaking, the authors reveal, is a metaphor for practices like resting in the Spirit, prayer for spiritual gifts, healing, prophecy, impartation, and supports overall charismatic spirituality. Attending "Catch the Fire" conferences, churches, and house meetings in the United States, Canada, Britain, Australia, and New Zealand, Wilkinson and Althouse observed first-hand how people soak, what it means to soak, and why soaking is considered an important practice among charismatics.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780875807058
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publication date: 03/15/2014
Edition description: 1
Pages: 242
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Michael Wilkinson is professor of sociology at Trinity Western University, as well as director of the Religion in Canada Institute, and coordinator of the Canadian Pentecostal Research Network. He is author most recently of Global Pentecostal Movements: Migration, Mission, and Public Religion. Peter F. Althouse is associate professor of religion at Southeastern University and the author of Spirit of the Last Days: Pentecostal Eschatology in Conversation with Jurgen Moltmann. He is the editor of the Canadian Journal of Pentecostal-Charismatic Christianity.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction 3

1 Charismatic Renewal 22

2 Prayer and Altruism 45

3 Rituals of Renewal 70

4 Embodied Love 93

5 Apostolic Authority and Gender 113

6 Advancing the Kingdom of Love 137

Conclusion 159

Appendices 165

Notes 173

Bibliography 183

Index 199

Customer Reviews