Technology is usually thought of in terms of understanding of the physical world and the ability to manipulate it. However, ideas and methodology can also be thought of as a form of technology in which society is understood and manipulated. For example, the introduction of Grantville to the Germanies brought American ideas about the equality of people and representative government. American methodology has already shaped the process used in elections and legislation. Clearly this has changed the existing society dramatically in just a few years. In the same way modern evangelical approach to missions is likely to result in profound changes to the religious landscape of Europe. Pentecostalism in particular could over the next generation grow dramatically to perhaps one quarter of the population or more.

 

The growth of Pentecostalism would probably follow a pattern that begins with an initial burst followed by twenty-five years or so of steady growth and consolidation erupting at some point in an explosion of growth that touches one quarter of the continent. The initial burst could be expected to reach wherever there is sufficient freedom of religion for either public or private meetings. Additional bursts of growth are likely to happen as the message enters new areas where the necessary freedom is present. These bursts of growth are likely to last from three to five years from the time it begins in any given area. The bursts of growth will then likely slow to a steady pace for about a generation. During this time of steady growth, congregations will become established with members growing in doctrine and purified lifestyles. The purified lifestyles should produce stable families and an economic lift. Typically many of the members will sense a call to preach and some sort of educational program will be created for their training. The economic lift ordinarily provides financing for the training of new ministers and future outreaches. At some point after about a generation of steady growth a critical mass should be reached and exponential growth might follow which could encompass up to one quarter of the continent.

 

To understand why this scenario is likely it is necessary to understand the difference in how missions were conducted in the seventeenth century and today by Pentecostals. The approach to Christian missions in the Reformation era divided largely along denominational lines. The Catholic church continued to depend upon various religious orders for missionary personnel. This continued a system reaching back to the late Roman period that was, at least in theory, centralized and had a source of funding. Personnel from the various orders could be sent essentially at will by the organization. By contrast the Reformed and Lutheran Churches depended mostly upon the state for impetus and funding. Those sent usually represented the political entity that had sent them. In addition since these churches lacked religious orders there was not a ready source of personnel. This resulted in very limited efforts at missionary work. [1] <file:///D:\Baen\Webscription\1011250046\Grantville%20Gazette-Volume%20XX\GG20.html>

 

 

The modern approach introduced by the appearance of Grantville is the result of a series of changes that are first seen in the 1650’s in the New England colonies with Puritan missions to the Native Americans. These changes are echoed and expanded in the early 1700’s by the Moravian efforts. The three key changes in thought are that missionaries are God sent rather than by any human entity, that common people are sent, and that missionary needs are the responsibility of everyone in the church.[2] <file:///D:\Baen\Webscription\1011250046\Grantville%20Gazette-Volume%20XX\GG20.html> These changes were followed over the next two centuries by consideration of what should constitute the missionary objective. The formal answer to this comes in the mid-nineteenth century from missionary executives Henry Venn of England and Rufus Anderson in America.[3] <file:///D:\Baen\Webscription\1011250046\Grantville%20Gazette-Volume%20XX\GG20.html> This approach is usually summarized as the 3-Self approach to missions. It states that the object of the missionary endeavor should be the planting of churches that are self-supporting, self-governing and self-propagating. A self-supporting church is not financially dependent on money coming from another place for its continued existence. A self-governing church is able to manage its own affairs without outside intervention¾that is without the need for continuing missionary involvement. A self-propagating church conducts evangelism with sufficient success that it grows locally and is involved in producing additional churches.

 

The next piece of the modern approach to evangelical missions is that churches should be contextualized to the culture where they are located. Roland Allen, a missionary to China at the end of the nineteenth century, is usually given credit for formally publishing this in 1927.[4] <file:///D:\Baen\Webscription\1011250046\Grantville%20Gazette-Volume%20XX\GG20.html> The modern understanding of a contextualized approach means first and foremost that the methods of evangelism, organization, and liturgy, should be understandable to a culture. In addition, the new believers in the culture being evangelized must ultimately wrestle with Scripture to organize and apply its truth in a way that speaks to and ultimately transforms their culture.[5] <file:///D:\Baen\Webscription\1011250046\Grantville%20Gazette-Volume%20XX\GG20.html> The result is not a rewriting of orthodoxy but a presentation of orthodoxy that is comprehensible to the culture. This is a time consuming process but results in the new believers “owning” their beliefs and practices rather than receiving the possibly ill fitting dictations of the missionary.

 

A final twentieth century addition to the modern approach is the “power encounter.” This is essentially an expectation of miracles, healings and exorcisms as demonstration of God’s power and the reality of the message being proclaimed. While most often identified with Pentecostals most missionaries of Evangelical persuasion utilize this method at least to some degree. A popular description of both the method and its results in South America has been written by Peter Wagner, a non-Pentecostal.[6] <file:///D:\Baen\Webscription\1011250046\Grantville%20Gazette-Volume%20XX\GG20.html> An example he uses is Tommy Hicks seeking an interview with Chile’s Perón. A meeting was arranged with the secretary of religion who came in limping with an injured leg. Hicks offered to pray for the leg but the secretary scoffed at both the request and the power of prayer. Hicks prayed anyway and the pain instantly vanished. The result was an audience with Perón and the use of a huge stadium for evangelism.[7] <file:///D:\Baen\Webscription\1011250046\Grantville%20Gazette-Volume%20XX\GG20.html>

 

These ideas would be carried through the Ring of Fire by most church members of Evangelical persuasion and any Pentecostals in particular. The majority of Pentecostal and Evangelical churches in America have written into their DNA the Moravian idea that missionaries are God sent rather than by any human entity, that common people are sent, and that missionary needs are the responsibility of everyone in the church. This is readily seen in the very wide participation in these churches of the support of missions by prayer and financing. In addition, many will take part in at least one short term missions trip where they can see the work firsthand and participate at least a little. Every report they receive from missionaries emphasizes some part of the 3-Self plan of church planting. In addition, many of the books and articles in promotional materials from the denominations also emphasize this point.

 

 

Missionaries home on furlough visit supporting churches and delight in reporting on power encounters in large part because people love to hear about them. As a result the people and leaders are aware of its power to persuade and open doors. Perhaps more important for the 1632verse Pentecostal people who believe that God is sending them are willing to take real risks trusting that God will do miracles. It takes very few successes to strongly impact both those who feel sent and those who are listening. The results often cement both of them to the church forever.

 

Leaders, whether clergy or not, in these churches are generally aware of the contextualization portion of the approach. Though they probably would never say contextualization, they understand that we must do what works there and not just what works here. This is effectively contextualization. Missionaries on furlough also bring up differences in practices in positive terms, which reinforces this understanding. When these churches are transferred to Thuringia, this thinking will go with them.

 

What will happen when people who think like this travel through the Ring of Fire? At first the general switch may overwhelm them. However, they will soon begin looking around them at the continent full of “lost” Catholics and Lutherans and set about the task of reaching them with the Gospel. The way they go about this will be drawn from the example familiar to them using the methods of modern evangelical approach to missions.

 

To estimate the effect of this missionary effort a modern analogy might be seen in the Pentecostal inroads into the formerly solid Catholic area of South America. “In Latin America, Catholicism had been imposed by more or less open force.”[8] <file:///D:\Baen\Webscription\1011250046\Grantville%20Gazette-Volume%20XX\GG20.html> This parallels many areas of the Germanies during the Thirty Years War. The same could be said for many Lutheran and Calvinist areas. The majority of the population gave no more than nominal allegiance to the church according to many 1632 stories. Similarly in Brazil today “barely a tenth of those registered Catholics are regular churchgoers.”[9] <file:///D:\Baen\Webscription\1011250046\Grantville%20Gazette-Volume%20XX\GG20.html>

 

Another possible point of comparison is the social disruption occurring in both South America and Europe in the 1630’s. Willems attributes much of the growth of Protestantism in Brazil and Chile in the 1940’s and 1950’s to social disruption leading to moral emptiness (anomie) and the desire for stability, which is satisfied by the cohesion of the new church affiliation.[10] <file:///D:\Baen\Webscription\1011250046\Grantville%20Gazette-Volume%20XX\GG20.html> It should be understood that in this context Protestant effectively means Pentecostal. Harvey Cox expands this analysis suggesting that Pentecostalism’s insistence on a lifestyle that, “strictly forbids drunkenness, carousing, and infidelity” has raised the status of its followers, “producing something the continent has always lacked, a middle class.”[11] <file:///D:\Baen\Webscription\1011250046\Grantville%20Gazette-Volume%20XX\GG20.html> This makes affiliation attractive both to those at the bottom of society and acceptable to those at somewhat higher levels. Given the number of people at or near the bottom of the social scale in late medieval Europe this has to help the missions outreach.

 

The initial Pentecostal missionaries in South America met with serious semi-official resistance and frequent general opposition. This resulted in confrontations that ranged from name-calling and a refusal to do business to martyrdom. This is paralleled by the treatment given the Grantville Evangelicals who engaged in evangelism beyond the immediate borders of Grantville as mentioned in various 1632 stories. Indeed the appearance of Grantville has changed what would likely have been the burning at the stake of missionaries to a mild to midlevel opposition. Historically this mild to midlevel level of opposition with occasional bursts of violence has provided the most fruitful times of Pentecostal growth.

 

Since about the 1940’s Pentecostal missionaries in South America have used a 3-Self approach and power-encounter with startling results. Remember the 3-Self approach states that the object of missionary endeavor should be the planting of churches that are self-supporting, self-governing and self-propagating. This means the forming of new congregations will be the paramount objective of their missionary endeavors. Outsiders often fail to realize the importance of the self-governing portion of the formula. This translates into personal responsibility for “my church” not the missionary’s church. This is in sharp contrast to churches sponsored by the state. With self-government also comes the training of local believers as clergy. The result is characteristically more clergy than churches, which motivates these new clergy to plant new churches multiplying the effort. Together these approaches have allowed the new churches to run their own affairs and adjust practices to local conditions. This is effectively contextualization. Trained modern missionaries contextualize intentionally as part of evangelism but the 3-Self approach will encourage this spontaneously as local churches flourish and manage their own affairs. In addition, the “saved and lift” phenomenon that Cox observes contributes mightily to the effectiveness of secondary church growth by allowing churches to be self-supporting and become senders themselves.[12] <file:///D:\Baen\Webscription\1011250046\Grantville%20Gazette-Volume%20XX\GG20.html>

 

The efforts of these missionaries beginning in the 1940’s and using the 3-Self approach all came together in South America and reached a critical mass around 1970. At this point growth increased explosively. A full picture shows that in 1900 the dominant and official religion was Catholicism and Protestants were almost non-existent. In 1970 the number of Pentecostals totaled about 1 in 25 people. In 1990 Pentecostals alone now made up about 1 in 4 people.[13] <file:///D:\Baen\Webscription\1011250046\Grantville%20Gazette-Volume%20XX\GG20.html> This growth is somewhat uneven but exists across the continent. This general pattern in growth is not unique to South America but can also be found in other locations.[14] <file:///D:\Baen\Webscription\1011250046\Grantville%20Gazette-Volume%20XX\GG20.html>

 

The Grantville Pentecostals in particular are very likely to begin missionary activity soon. They will almost certainly follow the approach described above. This suggests that if the analogy is even approximate, Europe in the 1632verse should begin to experience major growth of Pentecostal groups. The working out of this will depend on Eric and the various stories in the Gazette. This analogy to South America suggests that the pattern of growth should be an initial burst of growth followed by a time of consolidation. New local groups will be formed and local leadership trained. From these groups new missionaries will be sent out to new areas. Steady growth is likely to occur. Somewhere around the twenty-five year mark there would likely be an explosion of growth.

 

Every South American country has at least one strong national Pentecostal denomination; most have several. How analogous to South America the organizational instincts of the Europeans will be is an unknown, but similar organizations are likely to form. In South America these organizations formed fairly early in the process and have significantly contributed to growth in their several countries. If the Europeans follow this pattern the lack of strong national boundaries may allow the formation of even larger organizations crossing lesser political entities. With denominational organizations will come doctrinal statements. This could be a point of explosive conflict with the existing religious organizations. What someone is preaching “on the wrong side of the tracks” may be ignored. However, when it is written down in an organized form the people who are threatened by the growth will be able to focus on written documents. Since these are often poorly written in the original editions due to the lower educational level of the authors there would be plenty of places to attack the details. Crises that initiate either denominational formation or doctrinal statements provide excellent starting points for stories.

 

Once Pentecostal growth starts it could eclipse the Committees of Correspondences as a transformational force in society within twenty years. This statement assumes that many of the CoC’s objectives will be reached and the upward mobility of especially the second generation of Pentecostals will occur in earnest. The outcome could easily change the character of the European middle class. In South America where abortion and other moral issues are less prominent than in the USA many Pentecostals have gravitated politically toward issues that help the working class. This might benefit the Fourth of July party or its successors.

 

A fascinating situation could result from Jan Billek’s and the Brethren’s reaction to hearing about the Moravians and Count Zinzendorf. However, the Moravian approach did not typically emphasize church planting or result in new churches.[15] <file:///D:\Baen\Webscription\1011250046\Grantville%20Gazette-Volume%20XX\GG20.html> This limited the effect of their efforts. How or if Billek would accept the additional information along the line the 3-Self approach is a wildcard. However, given the supply of already strongly committed personnel Billek could draw upon this could provide an explosion of growth for the Brethren churches.

 

At this point most authors of the 1632verse have not widely explored the effect of the introduction of the modern missionary approach to evangelism on the new timeline. While the effect in the first years may be small the effect is likely to increase with the passage of time becoming very significant. Within a generation it is likely that up to a quarter of the European population may become Pentecostal. To this point few stories in the 1632verse have dealt with this area of religious change. The stories being developed by Wood Hughes are an exception to this statement but one of the few. It would seem desirable that able authors take up the challenge to produce stories concerning these changes within the boundaries of canon and the projected 1632 story arc.

 

APPENDIX ONE

 

This analysis has deliberately ignored “On Ye Saints” by Eva Musch in 1634: The Ram Rebellion because the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints [hereafter LDS] have a different philosophy and approach to missions than Evangelicals and Pentecostals. In particular they do not utilize power encounters or understand contextualization in the same way. Also their centralized structure has not permitted true 3-Self church planting. As a result the analysis in this article does not apply to the LDS.

 

Another reason that the LDS is not included is that while they have a history of growth, there is nothing in their history analogous to the Pentecostal growth. The actual results of LDS activity as reported by LDS sources do not reflect the growth results of Pentecostals in most regions.[16] <file:///D:\Baen\Webscription\1011250046\Grantville%20Gazette-Volume%20XX\GG20.html> Specifically, in South America where they compete head to head with Catholics and Pentecostals there is no country where active LDS membership exceeds 1% of the population.[17] <file:///D:\Baen\Webscription\1011250046\Grantville%20Gazette-Volume%20XX\GG20.html> Rodger Loomis, a LDS member with experience in their missionary program, observes:

“If we look at the size of these various religions and the rates at which they are growing, it is hard to construe the LDS Church as the one that has the competitive advantage. Without a significant competitive advantage over other religions, Mormonism cannot grow to become a major world religion, but rather will be constrained to filling a relatively small niche in the religious ecosystem.”[18] <file:///D:\Baen\Webscription\1011250046\Grantville%20Gazette-Volume%20XX\GG20.html>

 

This suggests that while the LDS may continue to exist in the 1632verse it likely be a fringe movement rather than a dominant one.

WORKS CITED

 

Allen, Rolland. Missionary Methods: St. Paul’s or Ours. 1962 ed. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1927.

 

Anderson, Rufus. Foreign Missions: Their Relations and Claims. 3d rev. ed. New York: Scribner, 1870.

 

Cox, Harvey. Fire from Heaven. Reading, Mass: Perseus Books, 1995.

 

David Stewart Jr. The Cumorah Project International Resources for Latter-Day Saints. Accessed 2008. Available from http://www.cumorah.com/.

 

Loomis, Roger. Growth of the Mormon Church. 2002. Accessed 2008. Available from http://www.lds4u.com/growth/growth.PDF.

 

Hesselgrave, David J., and Edward Rommen. Contextualization: Meanings, Methods, and Models. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House, 1989.

 

MacEoin, Gary. “Religion in the Megacity: Catholic and Protestant Portraits from Latin America.” National Catholic Reporter, (March 14, 1997).

 

Menzies, William. Annointed to Serve. Springfield, Mo.: Gospel Publishing House, 1971.

 

Ostling, Richard. “The Battle for Latin America’s Soul.” Time,June 24, 2001.

 

Stewart, David Jr. The Cumorah Project International: Resources for Latter-Day Saints. 2008. Accessed 2008. Available from http://www.cumorah.com.

 

Venn, Henry. Minute on the Organization of Native Churches. London: Church Missionary Society, 1861.

 

Wagner, Peter. Look Out! The Pentecostals Are Coming. Carol Stream, Ill: Creation House, 1973.

 

Willems, Emilio. Followers of the New Faith: Culture, Change, and the Rise of Protestantism in Brazil and Chile. Nashville, TN:: Vanderbilt,, 1967.

 

York, John. Missions in the Age of the Spirit. second ed. Springfield, Mo.: Gospel Publishing House, 2001.

 

 

[1] <file:///D:\Baen\Webscription\1011250046\Grantville%20Gazette-Volume%20XX\GG20.html> John York, Missions in the Age of the Spirit, second ed. (Springfield, Mo.: Gospel Publishing House, 2001)., 139-140.

[2] <file:///D:\Baen\Webscription\1011250046\Grantville%20Gazette-Volume%20XX\GG20.html> Ibid.

[3] <file:///D:\Baen\Webscription\1011250046\Grantville%20Gazette-Volume%20XX\GG20.html> Henry Venn, Minute on the Organization of Native Churches (London: Church Missionary Society, 1861). and Rufus Anderson, Foreign Missions: Their Relations and Claims, 3d rev. ed. (New York: Scribner, 1870).

[4] <file:///D:\Baen\Webscription\1011250046\Grantville%20Gazette-Volume%20XX\GG20.html> Rolland Allen, Missionary Methods: St. Paul’s or Ours, 1962 ed. (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1927).

[5] <file:///D:\Baen\Webscription\1011250046\Grantville%20Gazette-Volume%20XX\GG20.html> Many elaborate definitions of contextualization exist in Missiology. The following is representative of many formal definitions.

“Contextualization can be thought of as the attempt to communicate the message of the person, works, work, and will of God in a way that is faithful to God’s revelation, especially as it is put forth in the teachings of Holy Scripture, and that is meaningful to respondents in their respective cultural and existential contexts. Contextualization is both verbal and nonverbal and has to do with theologizing; Bible translation, interpretation and application; incarnational lifestyle; evangelism; Christian instruction; church planting and growth; church organization; worship style—indeed with all of those activities involved in carrying out of the Great Commission.”

David J. Hesselgrave and Edward Rommen, Contextualization: Meanings, Methods, and Models (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House, 1989), 200.

[6] <file:///D:\Baen\Webscription\1011250046\Grantville%20Gazette-Volume%20XX\GG20.html> Peter Wagner, Look Out! The Pentecostals Are Coming (Carol Stream, Ill: Creation House, 1973).

[7] <file:///D:\Baen\Webscription\1011250046\Grantville%20Gazette-Volume%20XX\GG20.html> Ibid. p. 21.

[8] <file:///D:\Baen\Webscription\1011250046\Grantville%20Gazette-Volume%20XX\GG20.html> Gary MacEoin, “Religion in the Megacity: Catholic and Protestant Portraits from Latin America,” National Catholic Reporter, (March 14, 1997).

[9] <file:///D:\Baen\Webscription\1011250046\Grantville%20Gazette-Volume%20XX\GG20.html> Richard Ostling, “The Battle for Latin America’s Soul,” Time, June 24, 2001.

[10] <file:///D:\Baen\Webscription\1011250046\Grantville%20Gazette-Volume%20XX\GG20.html> Emilio. Willems, Followers of the New Faith: Culture, Change, and the Rise of Protestantism in Brazil and Chile (Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt, 1967).

[11] <file:///D:\Baen\Webscription\1011250046\Grantville%20Gazette-Volume%20XX\GG20.html> Harvey Cox, Fire from Heaven (Reading, Mass: Perseus Books, 1995). 171-172.

[12] <file:///D:\Baen\Webscription\1011250046\Grantville%20Gazette-Volume%20XX\GG20.html>Something similar seems to happen with the CoC’s in the 1632verse.

11.Pew Trust, “Overview: Pentecostalism in Latin America: Surveys,” in: Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, 2006. Viewed At: Http://Pewforum.Org/Surveys/Pentecostal/Latinamerica/.

Pentecostals & Charismatics in Latin America

1900 1970 1990 2005

Pentecostals and Charismatics (in millions) 0.01 12.6 118.6 156.9

Pentecostals and Charismatics as % of Total Population 0.0 4.4 26.9 28.1

[14] <file:///D:\Baen\Webscription\1011250046\Grantville%20Gazette-Volume%20XX\GG20.html> While South America is the focus in this comparison the growth curve is not unique. Pentecostalism in America is usually measured from 1901. In this comparison the initial burst of growth would be represented by the Azusa revival of 1906-1908. Using 1901 as a starting point for an introductory growth burst and steady growth to a 25 year mark says that explosive growth should begin in approximately 1925. Using the Assemblies of God as a numerical sampling shows that between 1925 and 1950 the Assemblies of God in America sustained an explosion of growth from 50,386 to 318,478 adult full members. When it is remembered that this period brackets the great depression and WW2 as disruptive forces in society, the comparison is even better. The numbers are taken from: William Menzies, Annointed to Serve (Springfield, Mo.: Gospel Publishing House, 1971). p 401.

 

[15] <file:///D:\Baen\Webscription\1011250046\Grantville%20Gazette-Volume%20XX\GG20.html> John York, Missions in the Age of the Spirit, second ed. (Springfield, Mo.: Gospel Publishing House, 2001)., 140.

[16] <file:///D:\Baen\Webscription\1011250046\Grantville%20Gazette-Volume%20XX\GG20.html> David Stewart Jr., The Cumorah Project International Resources for Latter-Day Saints (accessed 2008); available from http://www.cumorah.com/.

[17] <file:///D:\Baen\Webscription\1011250046\Grantville%20Gazette-Volume%20XX\GG20.html> Ibid.

[18] <file:///D:\Baen\Webscription\1011250046\Grantville%20Gazette-Volume%20XX\GG20.html> Roger Loomis, Growth of the Mormon Church(2002, accessed 2008); available from http://www.lds4u.com/growth/growth.PDF.