Although my course was cancelled (not enough numbers) I thought I'd share a few fun things I learned while prepping it. I'll start with three fun misconceptions about Pentecostalism.
1) Pentecostals are Fundamentalists. I've probably made this generalization myself. But it is completely untrue. Not only did Fundamentalists have a hate on for Pentecostals, their operative eschatology is completely different. At least in terms of Classic Pentecostals, they did adopt a dispensationalist form of premillennialism. But the paradigm was one of restoration and it has a socially optimistic (read revivalistic) orientation. Fundamentalists gravitated to a more pessimistic, Darbyesque version. Fundamentalists were adamant cessationists simply because their view is always one of the world getting worse and worse and threatening the church more and more until the end. Pentecostals saw a church being restored to its place of power and evangelism. They anticipated that this would culminate in a massive revival that would likely be global in dimensions.
Pentecostals also would never take up literalism in the same way as Fundamentalists. Their driving hermeneutic is completely different and their expectation is that the church relies on both Scripture and the Spirit. Contrast this with the Fundamentalists who are holding very modernist claims and relying on the veracity of Scripture as their only proof. Fundamentalist certainty is based on how they construct their argument - evidences that they think demand a verdict. Pentecostals expect more than that - they convince with experience and radical acts of faith. It is wrong to assume Pentecostals are Fundamentalists.
2) Pentecostalism just appears out of nowhere with Azusa. This myth seems to live strongest amongst Pentecostals themselves. The reality is that Pentecostalism is really just the logical progression of the Methodist Holiness theologies that were so popular at that time. Pentecostals articulate their cluster of theologies a bit differently than these Methodist forerunners, for instance tongues was not an evidential aspect of Spirit Baptism for the Holiness groups - but it was a fairly common practice. Pentecostalism is really just a re-configuration of the Holiness movement - and one that has incredible appeal around the world.
3) Pentecostalism is all about ecstatic experiences. This is the thinking behind judgments that Pentecostals are 'holy rollers' or 'Noizerenes'. While ecstatics are definitely a strong part of Pentecostal culture and liturgy - Pentecostalism is actually a readily defined cluster of ideas. This is why, I believe, Pentecostalism has been so adaptive and persuasive. Tongues is not unique enough to define a movement - but theological positions are.