Archive for December, 2013

Pentecostalism, Politics, and the Prophetic: Renewing the Public Square II?

Friday, December 27th, 2013 by Amos Yong

dc-protestersIn my previous blog on “Prayer, Pentecostalism, and the Political,” I suggested that the anticipated growth of global pentecostal-charismatic Christianity in the 21st century had the potential to impact, even transform, the public square as these Christians take their faith from out of their private and ecclesial lives into the political domain, broadly considered. Here I want to reflect further on how such convergence might unfold, and how pentecostal-charismatic spirituality might register its commitments within a public arena that is both post-secular on the one hand and yet post-Christendom on the other. In particular I wonder if pentecostals prayer might move them to a more prophetic form of interface with the sociopolitical? Read the rest of this entry »

Salvific Motifs of Renewal Theology

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013 by Monte Lee Rice

RENEWALTHEOLOGYA notable feature of renewal theology within the ongoing development of Pentecostal scholarship is its construal of Pentecost and pneumatic experience as an epistemological resource that initiates and informs engagement with the human and natural sciences.  In doing so, renewal theology can generate innovative responses to an array of  challenges that threaten human and planetary flourishing and in manners filial to the Christian vision of God’s mission within history and towards creation. But given its methodological nuance on the Spirit’s immanence within creation, frequent criticism raised against renewal theology concern the strength of this fidelity.  Simon Chan for instance, consistently argues that all ideas of Creator Spiritus “must be subsumed under the Spirit of the Church.”[1]  Renewal theology would generally deem Chan’s limiting of the Spirit to ecclesial loci unnecessarily restrictive.  Yet, while we may find Chan’s church-bounded pneumatology utilitarian pr anachronistic, might not the “pneumatological imagination” also prompt us towards recalibrating such Tradition- and ecclesial-centered methods of theology towards the multi-disciplinary aims of renewal theology?

This question calls to mind the Chinese proverb, “When you drink the water, remember the source.”  I find Chan’s insistence helpful as it prods us to foster a mutually empowering interface between the epistemic resources (e.g., the “pneumatological imagination”) that renewal theology generates towards the sciences, and how we might find these resources a priori generated via the ecclesial-shaped contexts of spiritual encounter and formation.  In what follows, I shall briefly suggest three theological motifs I find beneficial towards fostering this interface. Read the rest of this entry »

Paul and the Miraculous: A Review of Graham Twelftree’s Historical Reconstruction

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013 by David Johnson

twelftreeGraham H. Twelftree. Paul and the Miraculous: A Historical Reconstruction. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2013. xxv+390 pp. ISBN 978-0-8010-2772-7

Paul has been widely studied as a theologian; however his views on the miraculous have been often neglected. Twelftree attempts to alleviate this situation by addressing to what extent Paul’s ministry and teaching included the miraculous. A guiding principle in deciphering the historical Paul is that Paul’s life and work are as important as his theological contributions. The book consists of 5 parts addressing the person of Paul, Paul’s inheritance, Paul’s testimony, Paul’s interpreters, and Paul’s relationship to the miraculous. Will Twelftree agree with the majority view that Paul excised Christianity of the miraculous or will he take up arms to defend the charismatic view that Paul was comfortable with the miraculous? Read the rest of this entry »