Among all branches of Christianity, female empowerment has been valorized in Pentecostalism. However, questions remain regarding the extent of empowerment in its egalitarian ethos. This article examines some historical and sociological aspects of pentecostal-charismatic female power and leadership among three Chinese majority churches in Malaysia and Singapore. It does so by a participant-observation methodology of these churches and in-depth interviews of church and lay leaders to enquire into the degree in which women are (dis)empowered for ministry. It concludes that specific practices and traits of Pentecostalism such as the charismata, prayer and worship, and church female leadership are configured in response to contextual sociocultural influences to produce a Christian/pentecostal woman that is both modern yet distinctly Chinese but attenuated within a Confucian family logic.
Applying the methodology of Third Article Theology to the doctrine of eschatology enables the development of a nuanced understanding of the church’s journey through time. Just as Spirit Christology has revealed insights into Christ’s humanity and growth, similarly a Spirit eschatology informs an understanding of the church’s transformation and development. Such a Spirit eschatology complements rather than replaces the more common christologically focused eschatologies, painting a picture of the Spirit working through but not being beholden to the church, leading us in cruciform lives that echo Christ’s overarching metanarrative.