Wolfgang Vondey’s Pentecostal Theology: Living the Full Gospel is a tour de force in Pentecostal systematic theology. It is also the most articulate statement of the fivefold gospel’s power to explain the impulses of past Pentecostal spirituality and its constructive potential for future Pentecostal discourse. Combining both traditional and innovative systematic loci, Vondey’s project shows great promise for the enterprise of christologically oriented narrative theology. One looming question is whether the christocentrism of the full gospel can bear adequate witness to some of the details of Spirit christology. That is, can the full gospel, with its emphasis on Jesus actively bestowing the Holy Spirit on creatures, give proper place to Jesus passively receiving the Holy Spirit from the Father, without the full gospel’s structure undergoing fundamental transformation? While some ambiguities remain in Vondey’s attempts to employ both the full gospel and elements of Spirit christology in the same theological paradigm, he takes long strides towards integrating these two themes that have often competed with each other for space in Pentecostal theology.
Full Gospel or Gospel Lite?
Christopher A. Stephenson
In this article, an inclusive Christian vision for the development sector is sketched. A clearer understanding of the Christian vision is useful to guide Christian development institutions as they deliberate their priorities in the broader development sector. This vision appropriates the Trinity, a core Christian doctrine that is included in all Christian orthodox traditions. It focuses on the revelation of God in this world and the understanding of the missio Dei. The article clarifies the particular way that development institutions participate in this mission, through social justice. Justice is understood as the pursuing of the wellbeing of the other in light of God’s love. For a fuller understanding of God’s love, the way that each divine person clarifies the understanding of social justice, and therefore the subsequent development sector, is outlined.
The following article suggests considering church development from a missional point of view. Accordingly, at first an overview is provided of some missional movements from around the world. Although the emerging missional movements in the world differ, they still have a number of similarities. The following article presents these similarities in the form of a debate. A learning field for church development emerges from this, which reveals the potential to foster religious literacy and religious transformation.
Jyl Hall Smith
How should the American church tackle domestic poverty, and how should US faith-based aid organizations approach the change process in developing countries? These questions about aspects of the church in mission are best answered in light of a wider historical debate about the relationship between church and state. In this article, I explore the history of this relationship and argue that the radical separation of church and state favored by conservative evangelicals in the United States, harms the disadvantaged both domestically and abroad. Just as governments should not abrogate their responsibility to the poor, Christian institutions should not shrink from their God-given task of holding secular, political authorities to account.
Bård Eirik Hallesby Norheim
This article analyses and discusses what constitutes the central difficulty (crux) of a surrogate apology – a corporate apology where a leader apologizes vicariously on behalf of an organization. Starting with a rhetorical analysis of the surrogate apology given by Norwegian mission leaders to children going to mission boarding schools (2009), the article proceeds to evaluate the theological status of such a surrogate apology in the light of forgiveness as a key practice in a theology of missio Dei. Drawing on rhetorical and theological analysis, the article concludes that the central difficulty lies in the aporetic nature of the response. It is therefore essential to acknowledge and address this aporia, even as a theological challenge.
This paper outlines the problem of inequality in economic, social, biblical and theological terms. It discusses three concepts of equality before making a relatively novel proposal of its own. The first, equality of outcome, is dismissed for failing to pay sufficient attention to the inequities it engenders and its failure to take seriously the issue of personal responsibility. The second, equality of opportunity, is shown to be more promising but this is critiqued for its propagation of a hierarchy of socially desirable goods. Sen is correct to argue that variegated definitions of the good life imply that any simple concept of equality of opportunity is insufficient. In contrast, this paper draws attention to the idea of justice as participation and in the process reframes this to define and argue for an equality of participation concept in which the equalisandum is located in relationships rather than outcomes, opportunities or capabilities.