Most contemporary Pentecostal missiologies advocate a move away from classical Pentecostalism’s historic emphasis on the priority of evangelization (commonly described as the narrow sense of missions). In many ways this move parallels similar missiological perspectives among Evangelicals through the influence of the Lausanne Congresses between 1974 and 2010. In this essay the author argues that Scripture does not emphasize the church’s call to transform the world but the church’s need to be transformed itself within the world as a testimony of God’s abiding presence. Building especially on the work of Paul Pomerville, Johannes Blauw, and Harry Boer, the author offers a fresh take on an old missiology, one in which the church in the age of the Spirit must especially be understood in light of God’s concern for the nations.
Jerry M. Ireland
E. Janet Warren’s Temple-Cosmos Model of Counteracting Evil, and its Implications for Charismatic Missiology
Christian J. Anderson
As the Church participates in God’s Mission, how is it called to oppose evil forces in the world? In the last fifty years, spiritual warfare approaches have come to the attention of evangelicals through missionary encounters with spirit cosmologies of the global South and the rise of Pentecostalism within World Christianity. But Janet Warren’s book, Cleansing the Cosmos (Wipf and Stock, 2012), offers a theological and practical alternative to spiritual warfare, one that emphasizes God’s cleansing of space in his creation, with evil not so much a strategic enemy but chaos that seeks to intrude over God-given boundaries and contaminate what God has made holy. This article analyzes Warren’s proposal and explores how it may help in some areas of mission where spiritual warfare approaches have been problematic – namely in relation to exaggerated God–Satan dualism, discontinuity of local religious forms, and controversies over space.
Wisdom in High Places and Pentecostal Praxis
Rick Wadholm Jr.
This paper discusses the literary textures of 1 Kings 3 in light of ambiguity and discernment for readers engaging the characters of Yahweh and Solomon (who may themselves be ambiguous) and suggests a textual call for discernment. The ambiguities and discernment of the text finds resonance within Pentecostal praxis as the Pentecostal community moves toward discerning what God is doing and saying within their midst as interplay of Word and Spirit. This movement functions both descriptively and prescriptively for Pentecostal praxis in the experience of wisdom as Word and Spirit.
This article explores the sense of John the Evangelist’s expression God is Light (1 Jn 1.5) in the Orthodox tradition, both in the experience of mystics and its theological ramifications. The article reviews the scriptural basis for the experience of God as Light and presents first-hand accounts in Symeon the New Theologian (949–1022), Seraphim of Sarov (1759–1833), Archimandrite Sophrony (Sakharov) (1896–1993), and Nicolae Steinhardt (1912–1989), and in Orthodox liturgical services. Beyond a metaphorical expression or a psychological experience, God as Light, often called the ‘Uncreated Light’, in Orthodox theology is considered an experience of the divine energies, as distinct from the divine essence, a theology elaborated notably by Gregory Palamas (1296–1359), and is a foretaste of union with God, ‘deification’ or theosis.
Exploring the Dialogue between Author and Reader in a Pentecostal Hermeneutic
Scott A. Ellington
Pentecostal hermeneuts continue to debate whether the locus of meaning in a biblical text should be found principally with the author’s intended meaning, the reader, the revealing Spirit, or some combination of these. This article argues that meaning cannot be isolated to the writer or the reader alone, but requires an ongoing dialogue facilitated by the Spirit. Luke’s interpretive use of the Old Testament in Acts demonstrates the diversity of the ongoing dialogue between author, reader, and Spirit in the interpretive process.
This article presents a history of the Apostolic Faith Mission in the United Kingdom from an academic perspective. More specifically, the article discusses the emergence of the Apostolic Faith International Ministries UK (afmimuk). Arguably, the afmimuk is regarded as a missionary field of the Apostolic Faith Mission of Zimbabwe. So, the article discusses the early 20 years of the Apostolic Faith Mission in the United Kingdom. The lack of previous documentation presents a challenge to the writing of the denomination’s history. The article uses historiography by objective (hbo) as a theoretical framework and concludes that the afmimuk is an example of the spread of Pentecostal Christianity in Europe.
History, Theology, and Practice
Lisa P. Stephenson
For a tradition whose identity is founded on the outpouring of the Spirit that is witnessed to in Acts 2, the emphasis Pentecostalism places on divine-human encounter should come as no surprise. The Day of Pentecost is a quintessential ‘experiential’ event that, for the Pentecostal tradition, paradigmatically creates a routine expectation of encounter with God. The following article further explores some reasons and ways in which religious experience serves as the lifeblood of the movement. The author begins by explaining why experience plays such a prominent role in Pentecostalism by surveying two descriptors of the movement employed among early North American Pentecostals. She then turns to explaining how their emphasis on religious experience takes shape, especially within the confines of their weekly worship service.
A. K. M. Adam
A significant body of literature rests on the premise that the most propitious way of characterizing the way we interpret linguistic signs corresponds to the practices of encoding and decoding. A sender conceives a message, encodes it in linguistic signs, transmits the message (by voice, or in handwriting, or print, or digital media) and the recipient of the message decodes it. This model itself impedes progress in textual interpretation. An approach to hermeneutics that takes its cue from broader phenomena of perception, apprehension, and inference can provide a more illuminating theoretical discourse for evaluating contested interpretations, with the additional benefit that by changing the way that we view linguistic hermeneutics, we stand to integrate our endeavors more fully with the interpretation of art, music, ethics, and gestural action.