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In this episode of The Bible for Normal People Podcast, Pete and Jared talk with Jonathan Martin about the beauty of Pentecostalism, the value of being taught to listen to the Holy Spirit from a young age, and the importance of experiencing other Christian traditions as they explore the following questions:

  • What is the Azusa Street Revival?
  • What’s the difference between pentecostal and charismatic?
  • How has the Pentecostal tradition changed over time?
  • Why are shared experiences important in the Pentecostal tradition?
  • How does community fit into mysticism?
  • What are some values of the Pentecostal tradition?
  • How do we open ourselves up to God?
  • What is the importance of experiencing traditions outside our own?
  • How do you hold to the conviction and identity of your beliefs while still being open to different traditions?
  • How does Jonathan’s Pentecostal upbringing affect how he interacts with other Christian traditions?
  • What often happens when we try to “pin down” God?
  • How are Pentecostalism and mysticism similar?
  • What is the view of the Bible in some Pentecostal churches?
  • How do we limit ourselves with our beliefs about God?
  • How do some Pentecostals read the Bible like early Christians did?


Pithy, shareable, less-than-280-character statements from Jonathan Martin you can share. 

  • “If you’re a Pentecostal, it really opens the door for you to become a mystic.” @theboyonthebike
  • “It’s much more about a shared experience of the Spirit than it is shared ideas or doctrine.” @theboyonthebike
  • “What are the gifts of the Holy Spirit for if not for serving our neighbors? What is the power of the Spirit for if not embodying the gospel in an incarnate way in a neighborhood?” @theboyonthebike
  • “For everything that’s beautiful about these diverse expression of the body of Christ, I don’t think there’s one that’s entirely complete in and of itself.” @theboyonthebike
  • “I feel like in some ways kind of being flat on my back opened me up to God in ways that I wouldn’t have otherwise been open.” @theboyonthebike
  • “I found once I began to embrace this more sacramental way of being… I felt like I started having some of the more expressly charismatic experiences that I always craved in the Pentecostal spaces but could not access personally.” @theboyonthebike
  • “I think it’s precisely because I was taught well how to listen to the Holy Spirit that … when I was exposed to the Anglican Church, or to the beauty of the Orthodox church… I couldn’t deny the witness of the spirit in these other places.” @theboyonthebike
  • “So long as the system that we’ve had has been working for us than why look for God elsewhere? Why be threatened by how the Holy Spirit might be moving outside of where we came from?” @theboyonthebike
  • It often kind of takes something really hard to pry our fingers loose from holding onto a tradition too tightly.” @theboyonthebike

Mentioned in This Episode

Pete Enns, Ph.D.

Peter Enns (Ph.D., Harvard University) is Abram S. Clemens professor of biblical studies at Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania. He has written numerous books, including The Bible Tells Me So, The Sin of Certainty, and How the Bible Actually Works. Tweets at @peteenns.