links for September 4, 2006 links for September 4, 2006

Rich's Delicious LinksThese are a few of the things I’ve recently found interesting, but don’t have the time to properly blog on. I don’t necessarily like or agree with the links here, I just think they’re interesting. And just in case you do, too, enjoy.

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  • From Charisma: “These 30 leaders certainly are not the only individuals who should be recognized by Charisma. (Our selections were culled from nominations submitted by leaders in charismatic and Pentecostal churches throughout the United States.) But we b
  • From the site: “The Barna Group examined data from nine national surveys, involving interviews with more than 8,600 adults, conducted right before the attacks and at regular intervals since then. The study shows that despite an intense surge in religious
  • One of the best and most comprehensive surveys of Scripture about Heaven every written, and very easily readable, now has a comprehensive summary provided by (FREE) Download now!
  • By focusing on well-known examples, Goodall, through his compelling writing style, points to easily identifiable signposts that trapped “great” men. The profiles in Why Great Men Fall give pause to others in similar environments: corporate execs, mini
  • Funny and revealing story about how people respond to tongues: “She screamed at the top of her voice and she literally fled. The screen door knocked against the door frame while I heard the squeal of rubber speed away. I didn’t have a clue.”
  • Starting today, you can go to Google Book Search and download full copies of out-of-copyright books to read at your own pace. You’re free to choose from a diverse collection of public domain titles — from well-known classics to obscure gems.
  • CTI reviews the direct-to-video movie featuring one of the most charismatic and controversial figureheads of the modern Pentecostal movement. From the review: “Rossi, who wrote and directed the 2001 Motion Picture Council Best Documentary winner Saving Si
  • “He told churchgoers he’d had a revelation that if he had enough faith, he could walk on water like Jesus,” an eyewitness told the Glasgow Daily Record. “He took his congregation to the beach saying he would walk across the Komo estuary, which takes 20 mi
  • Check out the beginning of this interesting series of blog posts about the Will of God: “Many believe this refers to a specific plan God has for our lives that we must discover and follow. I’ll call this concept the Personal Will of God. Does God’s Wo

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8 thoughts on “ links for September 4, 2006

  1. Oengus Moonbones


    Regarding the movie about McPherson:

    I’ve read two excellent biographies regarding her life and ministry, and if you check my archives at Lunar Skeletons, you’ll see my reviews of those books.

    Regarding the “kidnapping” episode, both biographers basically come to the conclusion that the historical evidence remains ambiguous. Of all the players in that particular espisode, McPherson remained consistent and her story was the only one that didn’t keep changing. In my opinion, that the movie novelization insists on interpreting the event as a “tryst” with Ormiston is very unfortunate. It only serves to perpetuate a threadbare stereotype.

    But it’s not surprising that that’s the direction they took: Movie makers will always go for the titillation because it makes for better “BO”.

  2. Rich Post author

    Thanks for the note Oengus. I always wondered about Aimee. I don’t know enough about her to evaluate anything written or said about her at this point. I do know that she was controversial and powerfully charismatic. I have always been a little concerned, though, about the reverence the Foursquare church seems to hold her in. But, then, I’m a Foursquare outsider, so my perceptions are certainly not accurate.


  3. Oengus Moonbones

    Greetings, Rich.

    I highly recommend that you read up on Aimee Semple McPherson, as I think you will find her biography both interesting and surprising on several levels. Edith L. Blumhofer and Daniel Mark Epstein have written pretty well researched biographies on her life.

    I think it is a mistake to merely chalk up McPherson as a “foursquare thing”.

  4. Rich Post author

    Just doing a cursory search of biographical information on available web sources tells me that Aimee was a very busy woman, so busy her family life and perhaps her wisdom in marriage suffered for it. And possibly her mental health, as well.

    Atheist, debater, and defender of evolution at age 13, converted and married by age 18, widowed young mother at 20, remarried at 22, a near-death-experience at 23, a traveling evangelist at 26, newsletter publisher at 27, author at 31 and divorced that same year, founder of the Foursquare Gospel church at 33, nearly kidnapped once at 35, actually kidnapped at 36, indicted and acquitted of “obstruction of justice” by age 37, remarried at 41, divorced at 44, the first woman ever granted a broadcast license and the first woman to ever preach a radio sermon at 44, experienced nervous breakdown at 50, remarried at 51, divorced at 54, and killed by an overdose of prescription medication (accidentally) at 54–less than two weeks before turning 55.

    Of course, no timeline can do a life justice. I’ll look into the books you recommended, Oengus.

    • Aimee Semple McPherson: Everybody’s Sister, by Edith Blumhofer (Grand Rapids: W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1993)

      « “Sister” was one of the best-known North American religious figures and media celebrities between the world wars. At long last, an objective and scholarly biography has been written about this controversial old-time religion revival evangelist. In this sensitive and engaging biography, Blumhofer, a historian (Wheaton College) and editor (The Christian Century), depicts not only the woman who mixed piety and pageantry while crossing denominational lines but also the complex social scene of 1930s America. This volume outshines all other McPherson biographies, including Robert Bahr’s Least of All Saints, which is a speculative and dramatic re-creation, and the poet Mark Epstein’s appreciative and noncritical Sister Aimee. An excellent bibliographic essay is included. » (Rrom Library Journal)

    • Sister Aimee: The Life of Aimee Semple McPherson, by Daniel Mark Epstein (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1993)

      « Once considered the premier evangelist and faith healer of her day, Sister Aimee built a church in Los Angeles called The International Church of the Foursquare Gospel. A mixture of evangelism and the cult of personality, the church is today valued at over $300 million. Upon her death in 1944, recounts her biographer, poet and novelist Epstein, “Eulogies in the world press were lengthy, impassioned and full of praise. In death people did not hesitate to compare her to John Knox, John Wesley, Martin Luther, or Dwight Moody.” Yet modern histories of Christianity do not even mention her or her church. A sympathetic biographer who occasionally juxtaposes a personal and academic tone, Epstein is often reluctant to fault McPherson for poor judgment or zealotry. Still, his labor is exhaustive; the extensive notes, bibliography, and index he has produced should prove useful to students of early 20th-century Christianity, particularly as it flourished on the West Coast. » (From Library Journal)

    And perhaps these other texts are informative as well? (Note, some are “pro,” some or “con.”)


  5. Oengus Moonbones

    Yep. Aimee Semple McPherson was a fascinating personality.

    What is interesting is that Chuck Smith Sr. (the famous pastor of Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa), graduated from LIFE Bible College, which was founded by McPherson (LIFE has since changed its name and moved its location, which was once near Angelus Temple).

    Back in the early 1970s, I was attending for a short time an old Foursquare church on 11th Street in Riverside, California. In one room, there was a pile of old college yearbooks from LIFE Bible College. I remember my wife and I picking up one of the year books, looking inside, and stumbling across Chuck Smith’s picture in it.

    But as flawed as she was in respects, McPherson’s ministry, at least indirectly, is still having repercussions that have lasted up to this very day.

    By the way, I was at Angelus Temple on several occasions. It’s a rather impressive building. Above the podium area is a very large mural of XP being worshipped by the angelic host.

  6. Matt Green

    Great list of resources on Sister Aimee. Blumhofer’s is a page-turner–impossible to put down once you’ve started. Like any good historian Blumhofer paints a detailed contextual landscape in which she places Aimee. You won’t just learn about AS-M and the Foursquare. You’ll learn about the shaping of 20th-century evangelicalism.

  7. Jeney

    (PS. I read you.)

    the last link re: walking on water.

    the fact that peter stepped out of that boat showed a LACK of faith. maybe we shouldn’t try to display our faith by doing things that indicate our faithlessness.


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