This essay argues for the missiological significance of dreams and visions (D/Vs) as mediators of new, welcoming spaces for engaging the religious other. The discussion suggests a correlation between two important conversations, that of the church envisioning the role of Christianity in the midst of religious plurality, and that of anthropologists and dream researchers who point to D/Vs as valued experiences in religions of the world. In light of the research on the value of dreams and visions in spirituality, how might D/V experiences, narrations, and interpretations provide bridges for interfaith dialogue? Keeping in view the value of D/Vs for spirituality, this paper offers a distinctly Pentecostal perspective with the following thesis: When D/V experiences are assessed for their spiritual value within a pneumatological re-envisioning of missiology and soteriology, the possibility of their significance for fostering welcoming spaces for interfaith dialogue becomes apparent.
In this article the author offers a theological reading of John Coltrane’s seminal 1965 album, A Love Supreme. He suggests it is feasible to interpret Coltrane’s work as a musical parallel of sorts to the phenomenon of praying in tongues. The author contends that such a reading is not only possible but also desirable, since it issues a challenge to the modern Church regarding its worship practices and the use of glossolalia, making the issue important for modern Pentecostal Christian communities.
A Conversation on the Full Gospel
The book Pentecostal Theology identifies the so-called ‘full gospel’ as a comprehensive theological narrative of the Pentecostal movement. The full gospel is essentially a liturgical narrative aiming at participation in Pentecost through an experiential, hermeneutical, and theological move to and from the altar that yields a biblically and theologically organized and embodied theology. The reviewers of the book have raised a number of observations concerning the systematic and constructive argument of Pentecostal Theology. This essay responds to the concerns by discussing the nature of theological inquiry among Pentecostals, the method of the full gospel, and the continuity and discontinuity in Pentecostal theology.
Reading the Lukan Banquet (Luke 14.12–24) as a Trinitarian Theological Paradigm of Hospitality in a World of Hostility
David Thang Moe
This article examines the contrasts found in the Lukan banquet parable (Lk. 14.12–24). While most scholars tend to focus on the role of the banquet host or on the role of the guests, many interpreters forget the role of the servant in the parable. This article re-considers the equally important roles of the inviting host, the invited guests, and the sent servant for a paradigmatic relation between a trinitarian theological paradigm of hospitality and a trinitarian church’s hospitable identity and vocation in a contemporary world of hostility. It is argued that a trinitarian church must embody the Trinity in its twofold inseparable move of reaching out to the other by crossing their cultures as a metaphorical reflection of external Trinity and of receiving them in by making a hospitable space for the other as a reflection of internal Trinity.
Steven M. Studebaker
Wolfgang Vondey’s Pentecostal Theology is a creative, constructive, and far ranging contribution to the development of Pentecostal theology. Grounded in the Pentecostal experience of the full gospel, it provides both a fundamental Pentecostal theology and a Pentecostal perspective on major categories of systematic theology. The book marks a new phase of efforts to develop a comprehensive or systematic Pentecostal theology by starting with Pentecostal concerns and developing a theology in terms of them. This review focuses on Vondey’s discussions of creation (ch. 7) and theological anthropology (ch. 8), in which he argues that a Pentecostal theology of creation and eschatology does not conclude with God razing the world, but with the Spirit’s renewing creation. Furthermore, although Spirit baptism transforms the individual, the purpose of that individual transformation is to lead beyond the self and to create a community of sanctified life. Spirit baptism leads those who receive it into the world to live for all people.
A Conversation on a Pentecostal Migrant Family Road Trip
Kimberly Ervin Alexander
Utilizing the metaphors of family and the migrant family road trip, this essay offers an appreciative challenge to Vondey’s contribution of constructive theological narrative of the fivefold gospel. By suggesting the importance of the inclusion of a relational and familial model, it raises the issue of what is missed by the lack of inclusion of the voices of testifying members of the Pentecostal family, particularly those of sisters and mothers. Further, the journey motif, it is suggested, better fits the epic spirituality of the Pentecostal movement.
Full Gospel or Gospel Lite?
Christopher A. Stephenson
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.
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.