Posts Tagged ‘Theology’

Pneumatological Assist of Music in Theological Writing

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 by Nimi Wariboko

musicIntellectuals often talk about various kinds of envy. Radical scholars accuse neoclassical economists of physics envy. Freudians accuse young girls of penis envy. I accuse myself of music-envy. It is my ambition to write theology as a great classical music or jazz. It is to find the music in the theological. For instance, I hope that one day my theology will sound as good as Schubert’s Ave Maria, Verdi’s Nabucco—Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves, or Monk’s Blue Monk. This hope exists not only because good theology is a sublime music to the divine and beautiful to read, but also because all good theologians are slaves to dead or obscure musicians. In an adaptation of the rhetorical flourish of John Maynard Keynes, let me say this: The ideas of theologians, both when they are right and when they wrong are derived from music, exquisite sensibility to beautiful, harmonious movements of sound and silence than is commonly understood. Indeed, the world of theology is ruled by little else. Non-music envy theologians, who believe their thoughts to be above any musical influences, are usually slaves to some obscure musician.   Read the rest of this entry »

Concerning the Future of Theological Education: Disciplinary Integration in Curriculum

Monday, January 13th, 2014 by Antipas Harris

futureoftheologicaleducation“Practical” Theology as a discipline emerged, in part, as a result of critical concerns that “Systematic” and “Historical” Theology had distinguished themselves as academic disciplines with less and less concern for issues in everyday Christian practice. Stated differently, there was a need for a more serious engagement with matters that face the church and Christians’ everyday life.

In the late 1900s, the emergence of practical theology as a discipline seemed necessary. The theological methodologies within other academic approaches to theology seemed to work well within the academy for those traditional purposes of theological education at the time. Yet, as the 1994 Murdock Charitable Trust Report alarmed the need for changes in theological education. Partly, the report pointed towards the need for a greater connection between the theological academy, the local churches, and the everyday Christian life. The current theological education at the time had become an ivy tower of its own. The necessary relationship between the theological institution, including theological curriculum, and the church, including the everyday life of believers, seemed lacking. 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 »

Pentecostal Scholarship Observed: Amos Yong as Theological Type

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013 by Michael Wilkinson

BrillWolfgang Vondey and Martin William Mittelstadt (eds.). The Theology of Amos Yong and the New Face of Pentecostal Scholarship: Passion for the Spirit.  Global Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies 14. Leiden: Brill, 2013. xvi+290 pp. ISBN 978-90-04-25174-8

Sociologists are observers and interpreters. We have the task of observing the taken for granted assumptions of social life and the power of invisible structures.  We pay attention to structure, culture, social interaction, stratification, social institutions, and social change. We do not always agree on what we see or what it means. And yet, we are given this gift of interpretation, of making sense of the familiar and the strange. The sociologist Max Weber developed a specific methodology of interpretation that focused on the subjective meanings of social interaction and the social worlds humans creatively constructed. His approach focused on the Ideal Type. An ideal type is an analytical device for observing and interpreting a complex social reality. It is a measuring stick or a conceptual tool that represents specific aspects of a case. Ideal types are especially useful for making historical comparisons as Weber did in his work on religion and capitalism. Yet, ideal types may also be useful in the advancing our understanding of Pentecostal scholarship.

The Theology of Amos Yong and the New Face of Pentecostal Scholarship is a new volume in the Global Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies series published by Brill. The volume, edited by Wolfgang Vondey and Martin Mittelstadt, is in my view an exercise in establishing an ideal type, and the specific case is the work of Amos Yong. The volume is organized around the work of Yong in two sections spanned by twelve scholars. The first group of essays introduces the work of Yong, his methodological assumptions, hermeneutical commitments, and theological arguments on many contemporary topics from world religions, to pneumatology, science, and Renewal. The second half consists of a series of critical essays from an ecumenical perspective with assessments from Evangelical, Orthodox, Anglican, and Roman Catholic viewpoints.

Read the rest of this entry »

From the Clash to the Renewal of Civilizations: A View from Jakarta

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013 by Amos Yong

JakartaThat the “clash of civilizations” thesis regarding the coming Armageddon between Islam and the West, including Christianity in the most apocalyptic scenarios, remains an ominous possibility is no less felt in Indonesia than it is in various pockets around the world. Yet my recent visit to Jakarta, including stops at International English Service, Harvest Theological Seminary, Seminari Bethel (affiliated with the Church of God, Cleveland), and Gereja Bethel Indonesia GLOW Fellowship (in the Serpong suburb), suggest to me that the church in Indonesia may be poised to make a substantive contribution to the next generation of renewal theology. Here are two major reasons for my cautious optimism. Read the rest of this entry »

The Theology of Amos Yong and the New Face of Pentecostal Scholarship

Monday, July 29th, 2013 by John Sylvest

yongWolfgang Vondey and Martin William Mittelstadt (eds.). The Theology of Amos Yong and the New Face of Pentecostal Scholarship: Passion for the Spirit. Global Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies 14. Leiden: Brill, 2013. ISBN: 9789004251748. $141.00.

In The Theology of Amos Yong and the New Face of Pentecostal Scholarship, an inspired group of authors have interpreted his hermeneutic. Most succinctly, in essence, what they have proposed is that Yong’s leit motif suggests that pneumatology models phenomenology. For Yong, it appears, this is really the very same premise as John Polkinghorne’s epistemology models ontology. Yong’s extensive oeuvre suggests that the amplified epistemic risks that are entailed in taking this pneumatological turn, epistemologically, are warranted by the augmented values to be realized, axiologically. This is no vulgar pragmatism but is, instead, grounded in a fallibilist realism, one that requires a rather rigorous discernment process. The major thesis is that a pneumatological imagination can better engage science, religion, philosophy and culture, mining those resources and bringing their gifts - not anxiously, but – urgently, to a world in need. In discerning the truth, then, we journey – not always directly, but – inexorably, guided – not always by the robustly truth-conducive, but, rather – by the weakly truth-indicative, overcoming such weaknesses by sharing our success stories and, as a discerning eye must surely see, the greatest story ever toldRead the rest of this entry »