Reflecting on Roots: Robert Jenson's Theology of Judaism in a Pentecostal Key

in Journal of Pentecostal Theology
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Abstract

The identity of 'Israel' has been important for Pentecostals for some time, especially in circles influenced by dispensationalism. Recent developments in ecumenical studies suggest that it is possible to construct an alternative theology of Judaism. Ecumenist Robert Jenson argues that Judaism's continued commitment to the Torah reflects God's will, even though it represents an implicit 'no' to Christ. This is because Jesus' resurrected Jewish body is only made available to the world through both church and synagogue. While problems remain in Jenson's work, a pneumatological rereading of his proposal – based on the NT's depiction of Christ's body as Spirit-anointed (e.g. Lk. 3.22; 4.1, 18-19) – is a constructive step toward a theology of Judaism. This rereading of Jenson suggests that both Christian and Jewish communities are communities of the Spirit. If true, Jewish literature might play a larger role in shaping Pentecostal theology. I propose three examples: (1) in the development of Pentecostal hermeneutical strategies, (2) in providing untapped pneumatological resources, and (3) concerning our common vision of a divinely recreated world.

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