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Joseph Drexler-Dreis

Abstract

This essay develops a response to the historical situation of the North Atlantic world in general and the United States in particular through theological reflection. It offers an overview of some decolonial perspectives with which theologians can engage, and argues for a general perspective for a decolonial theology as a possible response to modern/colonial structures and relations of power, particularly in the United States. Decolonial theory holds together a set of critical perspectives that seek the end of the modern/colonial world-system and not merely a democratization of its benefits. A decolonial theology, it is argued, critiques how the confinement of knowledge to European traditions has closed possibilities for understanding historical encounters with divinity, and thus possibilities of critical reflection. A decolonial theology reflects critically on a historical situation in light of faith in a divine reality, the understanding of which is liberated from the monopoly of modern/colonial ways of knowing, in order to catalyze social transformation.

Laura Rediehs

Abstract

Quakerism emerged in the seventeenth century, during a time when philosophical debates about the nature of knowledge led to the emergence of modern science. The Quakers, in some conversation with early modern philosophers, developed a distinctive epistemology rooted in their concept of the Light Within, which functioned as a special internal sense giving access to divine insight. The Light Within provided illumination both to properly understand the Bible and to ‘read’ the Book of Nature. This epistemology can be thought of as an expanded experiential empiricism that integrates our ethical and religious knowledge with our scientific knowledge. This epistemology has carried through in Quaker thought to the present day and can be helpful in the context of today’s epistemological crisis.

Jerry M. Ireland

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.

Cleansing Instead of Combat?

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.

Discerning God in 1 Kings 3

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.

Paul Ladouceur

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.

Hearing and Speaking

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.

Nomatter Sande

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.