The famous Gerald R. McDermott, known for his recent dialogue with LDS, writes in The Baker Pocket Guide to World Religions: What Every Christian Needs to Know (Baker Books, 2008 ):
Eastern Orthodoxy and Pentecostalism
Until recently Christianity has been said to be divided into three main groups–Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, and Eastern Orthodoxy. But in the last two decades, with the explosive rise of Pentecostal Christianity in China and the Global South, Pentecostalism is becoming a fourth main branch of the worldwide church.
The Eastern Orthodox comprise 220 million believers in Russia, Serbia, Greece, Poland, Georgia, and other areas of Eastern Europe, under “patriarchs” of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem. They reject the authority of the Pope at Rome, look to the seven “ecumenical” councils (from AD 375 to 787) and Greek church fathers for teaching, reject the Roman filioque in the Nicene Creed (the Spirit proceeded “also from the Son,” as well as from the Father), have married priests but only celibate bishops, and revere icons. Icons are paintings of Christ, his apostles, and the saints that are painted by artisans trained both spiritually and artistically, and are regarded by Orthodox as “windows into the divine.”
Pentecostalism represents the fastest growing religious group in the world at six hundred million believers. It is the largest variety of Christianity in China and may comprise the world’s largest national church (eighty to one hundred million). It is so named because of its use of the “Pentecostal gifts” described in I Corinthians 12-14 and the book of Acts: tongues, prophecy, discerning of spirits, healing, and others (95).
Tell me what you think about this brief summary, Greg.
And let me tell you what I think about this:
Evangelicals versus Fundamentalists
. . . While both groups preach salvation by grace, fundamentalists tend to focus so much on rules and restrictions (dos and don’ts) that their hearers can get the impression that Christianity means following behavioral rules. Evangelicals, on the other hand, focus on the person and work of Christ and personal relationship with him, as the heart of Christian faith (102).
I think that closing summary statement is sloppy broad brushing. Let me put forward a sincere, earnest question to Gerald: “Which American evangelicals and which fundamentalists are you listening to in 2009 to make this generalization?”
(*Two sidenotes: (1) No mention of Mormonism within this small book (2) Interesting definition of Neoplatonism on page 142 in the glossary)