Purity, Power, and Pentecostal Light

Purity, Power, and Pentecostal Light

by Christopher Jon Branstetter


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Around the turn of the twentieth century, revivalist Protestantism in America splintered into multiple pieces. Few persons of that era knew as many of the central figures of the splinter groups as Aaron Merritt Hills. Originally a Congregationalist who studied under Finney at Oberlin, Hills was a dyed-in-the-wool postmillennial revivalist until his death in 1935. While a Congregationalist, he befriended Reuben A. Torrey and made an enemy of Washington Gladden. In 1895 he joined the Holiness Movement after his experience of Spirit baptism. For the next forty years he founded colleges, held holiness revivals in both America and Britain, and wrote voluminously.

While Hills himself is a lesser-known figure in the story of American Christianity, because of the many embroilments of his life, his story offers a unique window into the relationship between the Holiness Movement, Fundamentalism, Pentecostalism, American liberalism, and the Social Gospel Movement.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781610973915
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date: 02/22/2012
Pages: 282
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

C. J. Branstetter is Research Director of the Public Theology Institute of Daybreak: Asia in Beijing, China.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"A lack of prominence in history books may not mean a corresponding lack of significant impact on that history. Jon Branstetter illustrates this with his well-researched story of A. M. Hills. This lesser-known revivalist offers an unusual window for getting a clearer view of the American Holiness Movement, Fundamentalism, Pentecostalism, liberalism, and the Social Gospel Movement in the early twentieth century. This reconsideration of Hill throws fresh light on Finney, Torrey, Harvard, Yale, Keswick, postmillennialism, religious higher education, revivalism, and more—a virtual parade of the major players in a fractured period of American religious history."

—Barry L. Callen

Editor, Wesleyan Theological Journal and Anderson University Press

Professor Emeritus, Anderson University, Anderson, Indiana

"It has been some time since A. M. Hills's contribution to the Wesleyan-Holiness theological tradition has been brought forward for public review. Dr. Branstetter has filled this need with thorough research and reading ease. For the professional and layman alike, this work provides a welcome reminder of the impact Dr. Hills had on late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century theological development."

—Loren P. Gresham

President, Southern Nazarene University, Bethany, Oklahoma

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