Christian J. Anderson
This article explores Amos Yong’s contributions to missiology through his concept of “pneumatological imagination” – that is, the hermeneutical embrace of Pentecost’s multivalent boundary-crossing potential. Two spheres of mission encounter that Yong has engaged with are examined: the spirit world, and the religions. In the Spirit’s encounter with spirit cosmologies, Yong looks for fruitful lines of continuity rather than radical severance, and develops a theology of “the powers” which connects the spirits to structural realities. In the Spirit’s encounter with the religions, Yong sets out avenues for discerning the Holy Spirit’s presence and activity in settings where Christ is not known or named. In this second, more controversial, area, Yong’s approach is critiqued for blurring the distinction between the Spirit’s sustaining and liberating activity. Concrete examples are suggested for how the Spirit might be seen as missionally active within non-Christian religions in ways that are more verifiably Christo-logical.
Hans Morten Haugen
The growing interest in the role of faith-based organizations (FBOs) in promoting social development is welcome, but the article nevertheless questions the value of the broad term FBOs. The categorizations of FBOs do not bring adequate clarity. Four justifications for keeping the FBO term are analyzed: (i) highlighting the importance of religion and the size of FBOs; (ii) identifying characteristics of FBOs, specifically extensive networks and stronger local presence; (iii) surveillance of FBOs as potentially divisive actors; and (iv) necessary to map donations. Four justifications for scrapping the FBO term are also analyzed: (i) the term FBO might give connotations to religiously extremist movements – or to Western worldviews; (ii) the emphasis on the “devotedness” inherent in FBOs might directly and indirectly promote behavioral economics; (iii) both religion and FBOs might become “essentialized”; and (iv) research of FBOs is characterized by a lack of rigorous methodological, investigative approach.