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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.

Pentecostalism and Experience

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.

Derek C. Hatch

Five years have passed since the publication of the report from the second round of international ecumenical dialogues between the Baptist World Alliance and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. When this document—titled The Word of God in the Life of the Church—was released, readers recognised that it would demand ongoing reflection and engagement as part of its reception. This article describes how Baptists have received the report during this interval. To do so, the article will discuss printed journal articles, books, academic sessions, and ecclesial events where the report has appeared, been discussed, and critically engaged. The article also articulates several suggestions for cultivating further awareness and active engagement with the report by Baptists. It concludes with the hope that deeper Baptist reception of The Word of God in the Life of the Church will bolster mutual understanding between both communities.