what we can learn from the Pentecostals

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Reed Esau

Nov 22, 2007, 5:55:49 PM11/22/07
to SkeptiCamp
Via Jim Lippard, a blog post that analyzes the rapid growth of the
pentacostal church:

//What makes Pentecostalism successful? It's not intellectual
argument. Pentecostalism is what The Economist's recent special report
on "The new wars of religion" refers to as a "hot" religion. It's not
particularly concerned about doctrinal details (which is not to say it
doesn't have them), but about religious experience and personal
interaction and participation.//


The last four words, "personal interaction and participation" are the
interesting and relevant bit.

Among skeptics, what are the outlets, if any, for "personal
interaction and participation" outside of our little experiment? I'm
thinking particularly of _meaningful_ outlets, not simply passive ones
like reading SKEPTIC magazine or attending a lecture.

There are some. As an oft-cited example, one can create a blog or
podcast, but such requires a non-trivial commitment and perhaps a bit
of talent. It seems to be a problem in skepticism that the ways to
participate don't match the constraints of our lives. While any
Pentecostal can writhe on the floor and speak in tongues, only a
handful of skeptics will have the time, ability and discipline to
produce a quality podcast.

Skeptics are in need of more outlets -- finer grained outlets -- for
meaningful participation. Perhaps in the coming months this will be
realized and we'll see more traction for skepticamp-like events where
the attendees themselves provide the content.
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