No. 2 (Autumn)Up one level
Exploring the roots of Pentecostal theology, the article contends that it is an oversimplification to understand Pentecostalism as a linear extension of the Wesleyan Holiness revival movement of the nineteenth century. Next to other influences, such as fundamentalism and Keswick theology, it is argued that the modern Pentecostal movement owes a considerable debt to the Reformed tradition. This view is substantiated by invoking the theology of John Calvin, Theodore Frelinghuysen, Jonathan Edwards, Edward Irving, Charles G. Finney, and Abraham Kuyper. However, a central issue with regard to Reformed theology remains in cessationism, a view which is debated in this article by following the works of Jon Ruthven.
W. van Vlastuin – Does Pentecostalism Have Reformed Roots? An analysis of the argument of W.W. Menzies
The article considers Menzies appeal to reformed roots of Pentecostalism in a lecture given at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. After examining his use of the concept of “roots”, difficulties are pointed out regarding Menzies' appropriation of John Calvin and Jonathan Edwards. It is argued that these appeals overlook central features of Calvin's and Edward's theology that mark a clear distinction to the Pentecostal movement.
The article endeavours to offer a fresh Pentecostal perspective at Luke’s two-volume work, specifically with regard to Luke’s understanding of Spirit baptism and its significance for Pentecostal theology. By looking at the how the Reformed tradition has understood the New Testament metaphor of baptism in the Spirit, and tracing the manner in which Luke uses this term, it is argued, that there is a distinct Lukan perspective on spirit baptism, which must be placed alongside the soteriological dimension so prominent in the writings of Paul. In consequence, both dimensions of spirit baptism must be upheld by Pentecostal theology, the reception of the life-giving and indwelling Spirit by every Christian and the baptism in the Spirit as distinct from conversion, which serves as an anointing for service and mission.
In particular response to the theses of R.P. Menzies, this article investigates the role of baptism in the Holy Spirit in Luke-Acts. After having established common ground between Pentecostal and Evangelical scholarship in the field, it is argued that for the author of Luke-Acts baptism in the Holy Spirit is an eschatological, corporate and barrier-breaking event, in which (not unlike what is found in the Qumran writings) present and future aspects are held in tension. Luke’s portrayal of the work of the Spirit resists rigid categorization and, from a canonical perspective, helps to counterbalance an exclusive stress on Pauline teaching on the work of the Spirit.
The Alpha course, a low-key method of evangelism founded by Church of England minister Nicky Gumble, is successfully spreading through churches around the world. Considered a revolutionary method, these courses plan to reveal to the students the ‘complete Gospel’ in about ten lessons. The course ends with the so-called ‘Holy Spirit week end’ in which participants can receive a prayer for the Holy Spirit by laying on of hands. This paper is based upon a case study in a French evangelical church.