Pentecostal churches have grown over the last century but only a limited amount has been written about their ecclesiology. Much of the existing work focuses on congregational models and contemporary practice. This book argues the need for a pentecostal systematic approach to ecclesiology. Utilising the method of Amos Yong a pentecostal ecclesiology based on a network church structure is developed. Systematic issues of catholicity are addressed through mission insights on partnership, and a hospitable approach to contextualisation is developed. This book, therefore, suggests new ways forward in pentecostal studies and ecclesiology.
Andy Lord, Ph.D. (2010) in Theology, University of Birmingham, is Senior Minister of three churches in Nottingham, UK. He has published in pentecostalism, mission and ecclesiology including
Spirit-Shaped Mission (Paternoster, 2005).
"Andy Lord has provided a very impressive contribution towards Pentecostal ecclesiology, one which is trinitarian, catholic and contextual.
Using a distinctly Pentecostal theological method, he has provided an important model that can be used in dialogue with other approaches and Christian traditions.
This book is a 'must read' for students and scholars of Pentecostal and Charismatic theology in particular and ecclesiology more generally."
Dr Mark J. Cartledge, Director of the Centre for Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies, University of Birmingham, UK.
"The genius of this volume is an ecclesiological vision informed by pentecostal theological instincts and mission practices that simultaneously engages Christian theologians seeking to rethink the nature, task, and mission of the church in the 21st-century. Andy Lord’s pneumatologically dynamic ‘network church’ provides desperately needed resources for revitalizing ecclesiological reflection and empowering holistic mission in a post-Christendom, post-colonial, and post-denominational world."
Amos Yong, PhD. J. Rodman Williams Professor of Theology, Regent University, School of Divinity.
"Pentecostalism in the past century has been one of the largest religious movements ever, and has changed the shape of Christianity and of many societies. Andy Lord seeks out its wisdom for all churches in the twenty-first century, and offers an exciting vision of a network church that is Spirit-filled and hospitable, local and global."
David F. Ford Regius Professor of Divinity, University of Cambridge
Network Church is a significant contribution to Pentecostal ecclesiology. Its greatest importance lies in Lord's attempt to construct a theology of the church from within Pentecostal sensibilities, history, and methodology. Lord's writing is crisp, and he shows great command of Pentecostal scholarship and ecclesiological debates. [...] Pentecostal church practices will undoubtedly benefit from Lord's proposal. Pentecostal ecclesiology can find in this book a significant model for dialogue among the various Pentecostal voices and with other Christian traditions. The ecumenical community can benefit from both Lord's skills of synthesizing Pentecostal theology and from his systematic methodology. Among the few ecclesiological proposals from Pentecostals that exist today, this ecclesiology shaped by mission will undoubtedly assume a central place."
Wolfgang Vondey Regent University School of Divinity
Table of contents
Chapter 1: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Pentecostal Identity
1.2 Importance of Mission
1.3 Systematic Theology
1.3.1 Systematic Theology as a Mix of Conversations
1.3.2 Issues in Ecclesiology
1.3.3 Pentecostal Systematic Theology
Chapter 2: MISSION AND METHODOLOGY
2.1 The Church in Mission
2.2 Introduction to the Methodology of Amos Yong
2.3 Spirit-driven and Trinitarian Methodology
2.4 Metaphysical Foundations
2.5 Methodology Revisited
2.6 Critical Reflections on the Methodology
2.7 Methodology for this Project
Chapter 3: PENTECOSTAL ECCLESIOLOGY
3.1 Early Pentecostal Ecclesiology
3.2 Contemporary Pentecostal Ecclesiologies
3.2.1 Steven Land
3.2.2 Clark Pinnock
3.2.3 Miroslav Volf
3.2.4 Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen
3.2.5 Amos Yong
3.2.6 Simon Chan
3.2.7 Frank Macchia
3.2.8 Other Pentecostal Scholars
3.3 Evaluation of Pentecostal Ecclesiology
3.3.1 Experience of the Spirit
3.3.2 Rooted in the Scriptures
3.3.3 Engaging with the Theological Community
Chapter 4: TRINITARIAN NETWORK CHURCH
4.1 Discerning Networks in Practice
4.1.1 Pentecostal Experience of Networks
4.1.2 Basic Understanding of Networks
4.2 Networks in the Early Church
4.2.1 Paul and the Formation of Networks
4.2.2 Multiple Connected Networks
4.2.3 Networks in Church and World
4.3 Trinitarian Ecclesiology and Mission
4.3.1 Latin and Social Trinitarianism
4.3.2 Trinitarian Thinking and Mission/Structures
4.3.3 Pentecostal Trinitarian Model
4.3.4 The Trinity and the World
4.4 Network Summary
Chapter 5: NETWORK CATHOLICITY
5.1 Catholicity and Unity
5.2 Catholicity of Shared Ecclesial Essence
5.2.1 Trinitarian Essence
5.2.2 Sacramental Events
5.3 Church marked by Spirit Baptism
5.4 Movements towards Unity
Chapter 6: NETWORK PARTNERSHIP
6.1 Discerning the Spirit in Movements of Partnership
6.1.1 Partnership within Pentecostalism
6.1.2 Partnership within the Ecumenical Movement
6.1.3 Discerning Partnership
6.2 Biblical Partnership
6.3 Partnership Networks
Chapter 7: ENGAGING THE WORLD
7.1 Mission and Contextualisation
7.2 Pentecostal World Engagement
7.2.1 Pentecostal Experience of the World
7.2.2 The Narrative of Acts and the World
7.2.3 Pentecostal Ecclesiology and the World
7.2.4 Discernment and Mission
7.3 Issues of Power and Place
7.4 Practice of Contextualisation
7.4.1 Pentecostal Hospitality
7.4.2 Trialectic of Contextualisation
Chapter 8: CONCLUSION
8.1 Pentecostal Studies
8.2 Mission Studies
8.3 Systematic Theology
8.4 Biblical Studies
8.5 Church Practice
All those interested in pentecostalism and its approach to church and mission, as well as those interested in ecclesiology and the contribution sociological insights on networks might make.