Is Harvey Cox’s Fire from Heaven which focused on Pentecostalism merely a mea culpa for the hubris of predicting the death of God in the 1960s or a case of using the “pentecostalization” of religions to describe the shape of religiosity in the emerging global civil society, global secular city? This essay shows how theologically liberal ideas in both his Fire from Heaven and Secular City are today used to theologize the relevant shape of faith in the global civil society in ways that hauntingly suggest Pentecostalism is implicated in the emergence and working of the global secular city which reject notions of transcendence in religion. The essay then challenges pentecostal theologians to seriously consider the question: In what way is Pentecostalism already secularized or secularizing from its core?
TaylorThe Theologicalxii. This is not the time and place to critically engage Taylor on his distinction between theology and “the theological.” His concept of the theological refers in one crucial sense to the kind of discourse that facilitates and is in service of creating sociopolitical structures that create sustain and promote human flourishing. And its basic orientation is anti-institutionalism and resistance to transcendence. In very broad terms Taylor and Cox follow an anti-institutional approach to theology and even the presence of God that leaves out the Church that can be seen — as theologians like William Cavanaugh have done — as the political structure designed to create sustain and promote human flourishing. See William Cavanaugh Torture and Eucharist: Theology Politics and the Body of Christ (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers 1998).