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Sectarian Against His Will: Gerrit Roelof Polman and the Birth of Pentecostalism in the Netherlands.

This publication was originally presented as a doctoral dissertation at the University of Birmingham in 1987 under supervision of Walter J. Hollenweger. Cornelis van der Laan is the former general secretary of the Assemblies of God in the Netherlands. He has analyzed the origins and formative years of Pentecostalism in the Netherlands from 1907 through 1930. The first three chapters deal briefly--and sometimes superficially--with the social, political, and ecclesiastical context of Dutch Pentecostalism (the situation in the Netherlands, preliminary streams, the origin of Pentecostalism outside the Netherlands). The key chapters 4-11 discuss thoroughly the advent, inception, international contacts, growth, missionary efforts, institutionalization, theology, and ecclesiology of Pentecostalism in the Netherlands. Gerrit R. Polman (1868-1932), by birth Netherlands Reformed, assisted by his wife, Wilhelmine J. M. Blekkink (1878-1961), a former member of the Salvation Army, was the founder and national leader of the movement. The last chapter deals at some length with the divergent reactions of Dutch ministers and theologians to the advent and growth of the Pentecostal movement in the Netherlands.

Very interesting is the chapter on missionary work (chapter 9). Polman founded the Dutch Pentecostal Missionary Society in 1920. Until that time Dutch missionaries were sent to the mission fields by the Pentecostal Missionary Union (1909). Bringing the Gospel to all nations (including China, Dutch Indies, Belgian Congo, Venezuela) was regarded as a prerequisite for the second coming of Christ. In the Netherlands, the Pentecostals proclaimed their evangelistic message of salvation by means of literature, testimony, and social work.

This historical study is well documented (with appendixes and sources). I recommend it with enthusiasm.

Jan A. B. Jongeneel, a Netherlands Reformed minister, has been Professor of Mission at the University of Utrecht since 1986. He was a missionary in Indonesia in 1971-80.
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Author:Jongeneel, Jan A.B.
Publication:International Bulletin of Missionary Research
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Apr 1, 1993
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