More evidence on the power of Pentecostalism

David Martin SociologistFollowing up on Ignoring that Pentecostal "gender paradox", It seems an evangelical-pentecostal faith will not only change your marriage, it will change your whole life—for the better.

Here's a comment from David Martin, distinguished sociologist in his review of David Smilde's Reason to Believe, Cultural Agency in Latin American Evangelicalism

Years of skilful interviewing by David Smilde of the men in two churches in dangerous parts of Caracas, Venezuela, conducted during the period just before Chavez, confirm what investigations have shown from Kingston, Jamaica, to Accra, Ghana, and points east. Evangelical, charismatic, and in particular Pentecostal Christianity offers visions and revisions of lives changed for good, spiritually, morally and (so far as may be, given the changes and chances of life) materially.

Of course this good news for the world's poor who embracing this vibrant form of the Christian faith has to be balanced by John Wesley's experience:

Wherever riches have increased, the essence of religion has decreased in the same proportion. Therefore, I do not see how it is possible, in the nature of things, for any revival of religion to continue long. For religion must necessarily produce both industry and frugality and these cannot but produce riches. But as riches increase, so will pride, anger and love of the world in all its branches. Is there no way to prevent this continual decay of pure religion?