Journey Toward Renewal— An Intellectual Biography

Journey Toward Renewal— An Intellectual Biography

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Pentecostal Theology, Volume 24, No. 1, Spring 2002


Book Reviews

Barry L. Callen, Clark H. Pinnock: Journey Toward Renewal— An Intellectual Biography (Nappnee, IN: Evangel Publishing House, 2000). 293 pp.

Reviewed by Charles L. Holman

I Ž nd this book a stimulating if not provocative report of the intellec- tual journey of a major player in Evangelicalism, who has become increas- ingly interesting to those of us in the Pentecostal-Charismatic movement. Barry Callen obviously identiŽ es much with the Wesleyan-Arminian direc- tion in which Pinnock has increasingly moved (and many would say has moved beyond) in his basically sympathetic rehearsal of Pinnock’ s pil- grimage. It is signiŽ cant that in an “ Afterword” at the end of the book, Pinnock expresses his gratitude for the book. He says that he does not “ challenge it in any way” and that the book is “ very sensitive” to his con- cerns and “ free of any kind of slips” (269). Callen faithfully footnotes his sources, including interviews with Pinnock.

The biography is fascinating because it tracks the theological and devo- tional life of one who dares to think for himself critically and coura- geously, if regrettably leaving behind those with whom he formerly felt more comfortable. It is noteworthy that Pinnock’ s theological movement toward a Wesleyan position and “ openness of God” in reference to his understanding of genuine freedom of human choice coincides with a new appreciation of Charismatic renewal. Callen appropriately gives much space to both.

Adding to the interest of the book are the several anchor points of indi- viduals who have signiŽ cantly affected Pinnock. Francis Schaeffer was especially important in his early Christian life. Like Schaeffer, Pinnock was strongly rooted in the Reformed tradition, with an emphasis on the authority and inerrancy of the Bible. With F.F. Bruce as his Ph.D. men- tor at the University of Manchester in England, Pinnock was introduced to a somewhat more relaxed view of “ inerrancy.” This was important to his ongoing journey. His dissertation, completed in 1963, was titled “ The

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Concept of the Spirit in the Epistles of Paul.” Others who signiŽ cantly affected Pinnock were C.S. Lewis and Sir Norman Anderson. Later he was to develop a collegial relationship with John Sanders, author of The God Who Risks .

Likewise signiŽ cant in Pinnock’ s journey were the Southern Baptist Convention earlier on, and the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. The in uences of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Regent College, and eventually McMaster Divinity College are also detailed. By way of spir- itual renewal, Canal Street Presbyterian Church in New Orleans and, later, the “ Toronto Blessing” were important. Finding “ charismatic renewal” in progress at the Presbyterian Church in 1967, Pinnock asked for the lay- ing on of hands and “ was Ž lled with the Spirit” (77-8).

Callen properly underscores how both “ Word” and “ Spirit” were cre- atively instrumental in forming Pinnock’ s outlook on what it means to live under the authority of Scripture while being relevant in today’ s world as Christians. More attention is given, however, to Pinnock’ s theological journey. The “ mature” Pinnock is described especially in chapter 4 (“ Unraveling Reformed Scholasticism” ) and chapter 5 (“ Open and Un- bounded” ). Callen shows that the point at which Pinnock has become most controversial is in his emerging view of human freedom and “ open- ness of God” in relation to the doctrine of divine sovereignty. Wrestling with the issues, Pinnock came to question the “ deductive thinking of inerrancy which is rooted in the assumption of total divine control” (92). He saw this as part of a rationalistic (Calvinistic) fundamentalism, which he himself embraced in his earlier years. Pinnock came to believe that while all persons are sinners, each one is also able to respond to God. There is a “ dialectic of divine and human interaction, a relationship of reciprocity” (102). We respond to God and God responds to us. God “ takes risks . . ., yet is endlessly resourceful and competent in working toward his ultimate goals” (127).

Although in dialogue with process theologians, Pinnock does not see himself as one. In holding to a basic Evangelical faith, Pinnock afŽ rms the biblical message that God takes the initiative in salvation history (146- 49). He believes that the granting of “ real freedom to humans” accords with biblical revelation, wherein God feels the pain of broken relation- ships and suffers with creation (150-51). Furthermore, “ divine omniscience need not mean exhaustive foreknowledge of all future events” — that would imply determinism. Eventually God will act regardless of human choice, but the future is partly an “ unsettled matter” (150-60). Understandably, Pinnock has been criticized by other Evangelicals for his understanding



Book Reviews

of human choice in relation to divine foreknowledge and sovereignty. This is all part of Pinnock’ s “ openness of God” theology, which is the title of a 1994 book he coauthored. Implications are also seen in his “ openness” to the notion of those of other religious persuasions being accepted by God, provided that they respond to general revelation in good conscience (160-73). Pinnock’ s A Wideness in God’ s Mercy: The Finality of Jesus Christ in a World of Religions was published in 1992.

The last chapter of the book is “ Walking with the Spirit.” Along with his broadening interpretation of Scripture (reckoning with the Wesleyan quadrilateral that includes tradition, reason, and experience), Pinnock has moved in the direction of the devotional piety of Eastern Orthodoxy and shown an appreciation of the spiritual zeal of Pentecostals. His 1996 Flame of Love: A Theology of the Holy Spirit emerged in part out of this deeper encounter with Pentecostal-Charismatic Renewal. Callen speaks of this book as “ clearly a benchmark of the mature Pinnock” (216).

In Callen’ s revealing intellectual journey of Clark Pinnock, the twin paths of theological and spiritual renewal (or we might say “ Word and Spirit” ) are joined in the personhood of a contemporary Evangelical giant. Pinnock himself would be the Ž rst to encourage further critical thinking on the controversial issues he has addressed. We may wonder if the mys- tery of a biblical dialectic of divine sovereignty and human responsibil- ity might be given further attention, with more equal weight on both sides. Must we be able to explain this paradox in a completely rationalistic way? But surely the goals of faithfulness to the biblical revelation, a coura- geous critical assessment of doctrine, and openness to the power of the Holy Spirit are exemplary. This book reminds us of these qualities of Christian character.

Blaine Charette, Restoring Presence: The Spirit in Matthew’ s Gospel , Journal of Pentecostal Theology Supplemental Series 18 (ShefŽ eld: ShefŽ eld Academic Press, 2000). 160 pp. $14.95 paper.

Reviewed by Emerson B. Powery

The JPTSup series has produced another signiŽ cant contribution on pneumatology within the Gospels. The need for Charette’ s study becomes clearer from reading Ulrich Luz’ The Theology of the Gospel of Matthew (1993), which is part of a series (edited by J.D.G. Dunn) devoted to a “ programmatic survey” of the theological emphases of NT books. Yet Luz’ s volume does not include a section devoted to the Spirit’ s role in

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Matthew’ s Gospel and omits references to “ Spirit” and “ pneumatology” in the subject index. Despite infrequent references to the Spirit, Matthew has a more “ heightened” emphasis— so Charette argues— on the Spirit than previously thought. To recognize the Spirit’ s role in Matthew’ s nar- rative theology generally, one must grasp the signiŽ cance of the Spirit in God’ s redemptive purpose. Charette examines this purpose by investi- gating the Spirit’ s relationship to Christology, soteriology, and ecclesiology respectively. In terms of direct references, the author argues that Matthew, moving beyond his Synoptic counterparts, links the Spirit to Jesus’ death and resurrection (cf. 27:50). This underlying “ theology of the Spirit” emerges, however, beyond speciŽ c references. As Charette observes, inter- preters must grapple with Matthew’ s reading of the Hebrew scriptures, from which “ Matthew would be aware of the Spirit’ s function in the cre- ative, redemptive and restorative work of God” (13).

Rather than offering an exhaustive study on Christology in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter one focuses on the relationship between the Spirit and Jesus the Messiah. First, Charette discusses references to Jesus as Messiah in the Gospel. Then he focuses on OT passages, that predict what the “ anointed one” ( mashiach) would accomplish. The Messiah would secure restoration for the people by carrying out two tasks (cf. 2 Sam. 7): (1) defeat their enemies and (2) (re)build the Temple. Other prophetic texts and royal psalms build on these two messianic tasks. From this basic scriptural backdrop Matthew writes his theological narrative, differing only in his description of Jesus as one who brings restoration on a “ spir- itual rather than political plane” (39). (Unfortunately, Charette intention- ally avoids “ the role and function of the Spirit found in Jewish literature of the Second Temple . . .” [19].) Finally, the author examines Gospel pas- sages in which the relationship between the Spirit and Jesus is evident, including Jesus’ birth, baptism, and temptation. One surprising observa- tion is that the descending dove at Jesus’ baptism may not recall the role of the Spirit at the creation account, as commonly thought, but may rep- resent sacriŽ cial ideas (drawing on Leviticus). Here, it may represent the Spirit who “ actuates the sacriŽ cial aspect of Jesus’ ministry” (47). Lastly, Charette argues that Matthew— although not as directly as Luke— por- trays the role of the Spirit in Jesus’ activity, indirectly referencing the Spirit with key words like exousia and dunamis. Indeed, “ The Spirit is the very essence of the Messiah and of the redemptive work associated with him” (57).

Chapter two offers a more comprehensive look at Matthew’ s view of the Spirit’ s role in the “ essential work” of Jesus’ redemption. Charette



Book Reviews

attends to several references to the Spirit in Matthew 12 and to events surrounding the death of Jesus in Matthew 27. Again he examines both themes sensitive to Matthew’ s reading of Scripture, especially Isaiah: “ Although Matthew makes no direct connection between the death of Jesus and the expiatory function of Isaiah’ s servant, his carefully chosen allusions point to the fact that in his death Jesus fulŽ ls the enigmatic role of the servant” (64). The Isaianic exilic traditions are important since Matthew 12 quotes explicitly from Isaiah 42. One exegetical contribution concerns the phrase “ something greater . . . is here” (Matt. 12:41-42). The neuter pleion is often interpreted as a vague, indirect reference to Jesus or the Kingdom of God. Charette reasonably argues that it is, rather, a direct reference to the Spirit ( ton pneuma) of God at work in Jesus. Finally, the author provides an insightful interpretation of the enigmatic Matt. 27:51-53, which contains unique features. He exceeds others in observ- ing Ezekiel 37 as the primary OT text behind Matthew’ s eschatological description. The raising of the “ saints” ( agioi) fulŽ lls the prophecy of Ezekiel 37 and “ announces that the return from exile has been effected through the sin-removing death of Jesus” (92). But is this eschatological event in the passion narrative connected to Matthew’ s theology of the Spirit, an idea rarely suggested by NT scholars? Charette argues posi- tively that the initiation of these dramatic events (i.e., tearing of the veil and raising the saints) is due to Jesus “ yielding up the spirit” ( apheken to pneuma). Charette’ s skillful judgment is that to pneuma (the S/spirit) is a reference to the Holy Spirit, its most common reference within the Ž rst Gospel (93). This same Spirit who was present at signiŽ cant moments in Jesus’ birth, baptism, temptation, and activity is now “ released by him at the very moment that marks the culmination of his messianic work” (94), and “ goes out from him to be with the restored community” (95).

The Spirit’ s presence with the gathered, eschatological community is the central theme of chapter three. The author maintains that in Matthean theology the ekklesia is the replacement for the Temple, where God’ s Spirit dwelt. Matthew offers several positive or neutral comments regard- ing the Temple throughout the narrative. But Jesus uses language, nor- mally reserved for the Temple, for his new following (e.g., “ light,” and “ rock/foundation stone” ). Additionally, Charette highlights important pas- sages such as Matthew 12:1-8 (“ something greater than the Temple is here” ). “ The presence of God,” as Charette interprets, “ is more immedi- ate in Jesus than in the temple itself” (125). For the author, Matthew por- trays a transfer of the presence of the Spirit from Jesus to the gathered community. This may be clearly observed in Matthew 28:16-20, based



Pentecostal Theology, Volume 24, No. 1, Spring 2002

on Matthew’ s having “ intentionally composed his conclusion with an eye” toward the ending of 2 Chronicles, the ending of the Hebrew canon. The Spirit’ s work in rebuilding the temple (through Cyrus) has become for Matthew the Spirit’ s work in restoring and regathering the new eschato- logical community. As insightful as this is, this reviewer would prefer a more carefully sustained analysis of what Matthew perceives speciŽ cally from Hebrew/Greek Scripture. Did Matthew cite from this chapter, from which we Ž nd a “ clear” allusion, or hear the “ distant echo” that we hear? This affects minimally Charette’ s larger thesis. Certainly Matthew under- stood from Scripture that God’ s eschatological redemptive work involved the Spirit and was accomplished in Jesus’ coming. Beyond that, deter- mining Matthew’ s detailed awareness of Scripture without explicit cita- tion or allusion gets trickier.

Most Christians, especially of a Pentecostal or Charismatic persuasion, would never claim to be ignoring the signiŽ cance of Jesus’ initial com- ing to earth. But, as Charette charges in his concluding chapter, this is exactly what occurs if the NT is read through a dispensational hermeneu- tic, where literal expectations of building the Temple are understood as fulŽ lling Scripture. If Charette is correct that Matthew portrays the fulŽ llment of the restored temple in Jesus’ gathering of the eschatological commu- nity who carries out the Spirit-directed mission of God, then such dis- pensational readings hinder rather than advance interpretation. The keen observations of Charette’ s Restoring Presence have paved the way for a thorough analysis of other NT books as well. Furthermore, we are in Charette’ s debt for accentuating that a theology of the Spirit in the early church is not conŽ ned to interpretations of the third and fourth Gospels and the Pauline material. Matthew’ s emphasis on “ presence” is an empha- sis on the presence of the Spirit of God.

Paul (Sueng Hoon) Chung, Spirituality and Social Ethics in John Calvin: A Pneumatological Perspective (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2000). vii + 217 pp., $37.00 hardback.

Reviewed by William T. Purinton

The number of monographs and articles related to Calvin studies con- tinues to increase. Indeed, there is a renewal in the discovery of Calvin and his theological progeny, and because of the immense labor of the scholarly community the views of Calvin grow more diverse and com- plex. In the midst of this recent rediscovery, a question persists: Is it pos-

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Book Reviews

sible that Calvin has something to contribute to the Pentecostal and Charismatic movement? Too often the Pentecostal/Charismatic commu- nity has approached Calvin cautiously because his view of apostolic gifts— charisma and ministry in the church— is labeled as cessationist. Therefore it might come as a surprise that Calvin was called the “ theologian of the Holy Spirit” by B.B. WarŽ eld, the brilliant Princeton theologian and critic of miracles. The dialogue between the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) and Pentecostals has emphasized the need for mutual under- standing and for Pentecostals to become familiar with John Calvin.

Paul Chung offers us a sustained and careful study of Calvin’ s spir- ituality and social ethics in the publication of his postdoctoral thesis (University of Basel, Switzerland). Chung’ s interest in Calvin was sparked by his doctoral dissertation on Karl Barth, and was sustained by a desire to understand Calvin’ s place in South Korea. Five of the six chapters deal with the Spirit; thus the vast majority of the book is a treatment of Calvin’ s pneumatology. The sixth chapter, “ Calvin, Democracy And Capitalism,” treats the political context of French Calvinism and the Max Weber the- sis. Two helpful appendices are included. One on the Lord’ s Supper deals with the challenge of ecumenical partnerships and understanding distinc- tive theological language in common. The other lists the pneumatologi- cal references in Calvin’ s writings.

Early in the text, Chung expresses his interest in the South Korean view of Calvinism; it is, however, unfortunate that he does not include the Korean interpretation of Calvin. It is interesting to note that Presbyterian churches in Korea, while adhering to a strict Calvinism, do not maintain the cessation doctrine in practice. One can hear the sound of speaking in tongues at an early morning prayer service in many Presbyterian churches in South Korea.

Chung ably corrects many distorted views of Calvin simply through presenting the teachings of the Geneva reformer. One such view is that Calvin was primarily an advocate of Christian rationalism as contrareligious experience. A quick glance at the contents of the Institutes will indicate the large amount of material devoted to spirituality and prayer. Although Calvin was an able dogmatist, based upon his classical and philosophi- cal studies, his primary intent was that religion be experienced. “ Theological re ection is not merely supposed to formulate and explicate dogmatic statements and categories, but it also deals with the genuine human expe- rience of God in appropriate ways, because for Calvin, at least, theolog- ical knowledge was related to vital and experiential aspects” (9).

On one hand, Chung allows Calvin to speak for himself, rather than



Pentecostal Theology, Volume 24, No. 1, Spring 2002

through the voices of interpreters such as Francis Turretin and B.B. WarŽ eld. On the other hand, the interaction with secondary literature remains a vital aspect of any study. The challenge remains that the contemporary the- ologians do not overwhelm the original sources or distort the context. Moltmann and Barth remain dialogue partners throughout the text. At one point, however, Barth becomes more than a dialogue partner, when his voice is heard above Calvin’ s. Chung’ s discussion of the elect and repro- bate, while noting Calvin’ s acknowledgment of human uncertainty, because Calvin was not able to expound church discipline in the language of Ž nal judgment— that still belonged to God— it should not follow with the temp- tation to speak of “ eschatological openness” (67). Could this possibly be an echo of Barth?

There are two matters related to style and format. First, the numerous untranslated foreign phrases, which I was able to work through with a dictionary by my side, would prove too distracting to most readers— jug- gling Latin, French, and German dictionaries in one hand and Chung’ s work in the other. Second, it was regrettable that many typographical errors and inconsistent usage of format and style escaped the eyes of an editor. The list of “ abbreviations” cites “ P. Jaroslav” rather than “ Pelikan, J.” and omits some of the abbreviations used throughout the text. Another distracting error is the inconsistent method of citing Calvin’ s Institutes.

Chung has offered a very helpful study in Calvin’ s pneumatology through the categories of spirituality and social ethics. It allows the reader to hear clearly the voice of Calvin. The Ž eld of pneumatology is enriched with this study, which joins the mere handful available on Calvin’ s views on the Holy Spirit. It is recommended to all students of historical and systematic theology.

Simon Coleman, The Globalization of Charismatic Christianity: Spreading the Gospel of Prosperity (Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 2000). xii + 264 pp., $59.95, cloth.

Reviewed by Irving Hexham

This is a really exciting, well written and researched book that attempts to take seriously the growth of newer forms of Charismatic Christianity associated with the so-called “ Word of Faith” or “ Prosperity Gospel” movement. The book concentrates on the Word of Life Church ( Livets Ord) in Sweden and has ten chapters: (1) A “ weird babel of tongues” : charisma in the modern world; (2) “ Faith which conquers the world” :

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Book Reviews

globalization and charisma; (3) Sweden: “ national state” and global “ site” ; (4) The Word of Life: organizing global culture; (5) Words: from narra- tive to embodiment; (6) Aesthetics: from iconography to architecture; (7) Broadcasting the faith; (8) Expansive agency; (9) Contesting the nation; and (10) The word and the world. There is a good index and ample aca- demic references.

The Ž rst 71 pages set out the context of the study and attempt to locate the Swedish Word of Life movement in a broader international context. This is by far the weakest part of the book because the author relies exten- sively on secondary sources, some of which are not altogether trustwor- thy. For example, he uses McConnell’ s A Different Gospel (1988) to provide his basic understanding of the origins and key teachings of the so-called Word of Faith movement. Unfortunately, McConnell’ s book is an ideologically driven hatchet job that totally ignores the basic anthro- pological and religious studies requirement of empathy. Thus he criticizes the Word of Faith movement without attempting to understand it on its own terms. Coleman also uses Paul Gifford’ s The Religious Right in Southern Africa (University of Zimbabwe Press, 1988), which argues that American evangelists actively promote CIA-based capitalism. Yet, despite the title, only about 17 out of a total of 118 pages actually deal with reli- gion in Southern Africa. (For a fuller criticism of Gifford’ s works see my “ African Religions: Recent and Lesser Known Works,” Religion 20 [1990]: 361-72, and Karla Poewe’ s review of Exporting the American Gospel: Christian Fundamentalism by Steve Brouwer, Paul Gifford, and Susan D. Rose in American Anthropologist 100, No. 2 [1998]: 548.)

Once past the introductory chapters Coleman begins to rely on his own Ž eldwork and observations. At this point the book becomes fascinating and well worth reading. Interacting with both ethnographic data and cur- rent theories he produces a sensitive and highly credible account of the Word of Life movement in all its complexity. In doing so Coleman high- lights the role played by international contacts and the constant interac- tion between Swedish leaders and other Charismatics throughout the world without reducing these very meaningful contacts to an anti-American per- spective. Instead Coleman recognizes that this is a dynamic movement that thrives on crosscultural contacts from all over the globe. Thus Korean, South African, German, English, and a host of other people from numer- ous countries come together to create the web of culture that drives con- temporary Charismatic Christianity.

At one point Coleman states that the book is based on Ž fteen months of Ž eldwork in Sweden (12). I would like to know more about that aspect



Pentecostal Theology, Volume 24, No. 1, Spring 2002

of his work. Did he know Swedish before going to Sweden? Did he learn Swedish in Sweden? Or were his interviews conducted through an inter- preter? The answer to questions like these and several others concerning communication are important because they provide some insight into how well the author actually understood what he observed. Further, I would like to know more about his understanding of Swedish culture and the class system, which still exists despite ofŽ cial denials. Finally, what are his own religious commitments? In good American fashion Coleman is at pains to point out the Jewish ethos of his work (xii) and his own Jewish and confused Christian roots (7). But what does all of this mean? Frankly, I wish anthropologists were much more open in revealing their own com- mitments and allegiances instead of dropping tantalizing hints that really serve no purpose.

Yet, despite my criticisms this is an excellent book that deserves to be studied and read. It will make a great course text and ought to be in every university and theological library.

Jeffrey Gros and John D. Rempel, eds., The Fragmentation of the Church and Its Unity in Peacemaking (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001). 241 pp., $25.00, paper.

Reviewed by Paul N. Alexander

This compilation of interesting articles by scholars from many parts of the church is an ecumenical and enlightening portrayal of peacemak- ing within the body of Christ. The volume is dedicated to John Howard Yoder (read his The Politics of Jesus if you have not) and re ects the work done at the 1995 U.S. Faith and Order Commission that addressed “ The Apostolic Character of the Church’ s Peace Witness.”

The study recognizes the variety of voices within Christianity on the issues of peacemaking, warfare, and justice, and allows appropriate rep- resentatives to share their heritage’ s views. The journey of Pentecostalism, speciŽ cally that of the Assemblies of God, is skillfully told by Murray Dempster. He recounts the story of the ofŽ cially paciŽ stic stance that was adopted in 1917 and lasted until 1967. Dempster evaluates the paciŽ sm among early Pentecostals in positive ways by noting that they believed it helped restore the apostolic faith, unmask the reality of social evil, and afŽ rm the value of human life. Even though he shares the facts and some interpretation, he does not present a case for the reemergence of a con- cern for peacemaking among Pentecostals. However, his observations

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Book Reviews

could help contemporary Pentecostals develop a theology of peacemaking that would help us see its signiŽ cance as an essential aspect of authentic Pentecostal self-understanding. Familiarity with our history of peace- making and the theological rationale employed for its defense will be cru- cial if we are ever to regain, or redevelop, this element of Pentecostalism.

The perspectives of nine other faith traditions are also presented: Lutheran, Catholic, Orthodox, Mennonite, Brethren, Friends, Reformed, Churches of Christ, and Baptist. The latter consists of Glen Stassen’ s insightful and encouraging discussion and promotion of Just Peacemaking.

1 Stassen shifts from the “ negative” approach that emphasizes nonpartici- pation in killing or war to a “ positive peace” that promotes participation in struggling for justice and creating conditions of peace. He incorporates the Anabaptist emphasis on following Jesus, the Calvinist emphasis on the sovereignty of God over the powers, and the Pentecostal emphasis on the Holy Spirit as the living God dynamically present. “ The result is a peacemaking strongly grounded in the way of Jesus Christ, concretely interpreted.” Stassen moves beyond theory and provides evidence that following Jesus works in the “ real world.” His goal is to help Baptists “ recover” their peacemaking heritage, and Pentecostals will do well to pay attention to his work.

A signiŽ cant aspect of this book is that it incorporates chapters from those Christian traditions that have killed their brothers and sisters in Christ, and those heritages that have been murdered. The Orthodox, Catholic, Lutheran, and Reformed have to admit that they have not always been very concerned with this issue and have at times worked against peacemaking. On the other hand, the Mennonite, Brethren, and Friends have extensive roots and the corresponding potent ability to help us all to be more faithful to our Messiah. The accessibility of these voices in one volume can help motivate us to consider our ways and learn from one another.


Just Peacemaking: Transforming Initiatives for Justice and Peace (Louisville, KY: Westminster Press, 1992), and Just Peacemaking: Ten Practices for Abolishing War (Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim Press, 1998).



Pentecostal Theology, Volume 24, No. 1, Spring 2002

Grant McClung, Globalbeliever.Com: Connecting to God’ s Work in Your World (Cleveland, TN: Pathway Press, 2000). v + 284 pp., $12.99 paper.

Reviewed by Donald L. Alexander

Among the several recently published books on Christian missions, Grant McClung’ s Globalbeliever.Com is unique. Its singleness lies in its speciŽ c purpose. The author’ s intention is not to expound a biblical the- ology of mission, or to advance a particular model of contextualization, or to predict the nature of missionary work in the twenty-Ž rst century. Rather, his primary goal resides in informing the church of the unŽ nished task of the Great Commission with the purpose of challenging the church to embrace her biblical mandate as a missionary community. While the author’ s explicit audience is Charismatic and Pentecostal Christian com- munities, his message is clearly applicable to the wider Evangelical church.

The book divides into four interrelated sections. Adopting as a metaphorical approach, McClung begins by getting the reader “ online” with an overview of a biblical theology of mission. He traces the mis- sionary mandate of the “ people of God” from its inception in the Old Testament through the teachings of Jesus to the Great Commission. He concludes this section with a brief survey of the growth of the gospel from selected movements in the history of the church. Viewing the church as an eschatological community guided and empowered by the Holy Spirit, McClung’ s “ online” introduction contends that the calling of the “ people of God” entails not only privileged accessibility to the saving grace of God but also accountability to God for the salvation of the lost.

The remaining sections focus primarily on an “ internet” window to the world. With an excellent use of charts, graphs, and personally challeng- ing questions, the author directs the attention of the reader to the world of “ unreached peoples.” Endorsing and clarifying the “ people-group” approach crystallized by the Church Growth school of world missions, McClung presents a panoramic overview of the unŽ nished evangelistic task, giving special attention to the Islamic and urban worlds. While his well-placed display of charts and graphs informs and confronts the reader with the numerical enormity of the task, he also offers compelling argu- ments for the church’ s engagement in this task, arguments ranging from the church’ s calling, to deŽ ning evangelism, to discerning the voice of God. His underlying conviction resides in the belief that an authenticat- ing mark of a Spirit-energized church lies in its commitment and passion

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Book Reviews

for those outside its walls. The author concludes his study by offering practical strategies intended to ignite an active involvement among pas- tors and church members in becoming global believer communities.

Several commendable features characterize the book. Consider two dominant ones. First, the author presents clearly written, simple yet force- ful arguments for becoming involved in the Great Commission. Second, the organizational structure, with its charts and graphs, its outlining of chapters and arguments, and its care to deŽ ne technical terms when they occur, ensures a reader-friendly format. On the down side, however, the “ people-group” approach is uncritically adopted. While an emphasis on the numerical enormity of the lost provides an important motivational incentive for evangelism, the author offers no interaction between the emphasis on “ numerical lostness” and the fact that neither the Synoptic Gospels nor the Epistles seem primarily interested in numerical growth. In this context, the role of the Holy Spirit as the empowering and directing Agent of the Great Commission receives minimal attention in comparison with the numerical task yet uncompleted. Moreover, the biblical passages in Genesis 9-11 that inaugurate the question of the so-called “ scandal of particularity” in which the universal message of redemption becomes bound up with a particular people belonging to a particular culture is un- fortunately neglected. These concerns, however, may be unfair since the author’ s primary objective centers on an “ informational highway,” that is, in connecting people with the facts of the unŽ nished evangelistic task.

Despite these reservations, I heartily recommend this book, not only for the large amount of valuable information, but also for its explicit pur- pose: to awaken the Evangelical community to a renewed dedication to its calling to be a missionary community or, in McClung’ s word, global- believers.

William W. and Robert P. Menzies, Spirit and Power: Foundations of Pentecostal Experience (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 2000). 233 pp., $19.99 hardback.

Reviewed by Henry H. Knight III

Pentecostalism has come of age. Along with its Charismatic offspring it has become the fastest growing segment of Christianity, accounting for one-fourth of all Christians worldwide. Cessationism is on the wane. In the scholarly world a number of friendly critics have begun to dialogue with Pentecostal theology.

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Pentecostal Theology, Volume 24, No. 1, Spring 2002

This book is a Pentecostal contribution to that dialogue. But more than that, it is a revisioning of Pentecostal theology from within, providing constructive re ection that, while new, is nonetheless faithful to the Pen- tecostal tradition. As such, it deserves careful consideration and thought- ful response by other Pentecostals as well as all who are concerned with the issues addressed.

While drawing on much that has been previously published in jour- nals and edited volumes, this reads well as a single book. It would be easily accessible to college as well as seminary students and includes questions for re ection at the end of each chapter. Yet, its readability is deceptive: this is a serious exegetical and theological work.

At the heart of the authors’ argument is the claim that the distinctive contribution of Pentecostal theology is a recovery of Lukan pneumatol- ogy that had been obscured by reading Luke-Acts through a Pauline lens. Again and again they remind the reader that Luke’ s understanding of the work of the Spirit is decidedly different from Paul’ s, and that theological integration cannot be done with integrity unless each is understood on its own terms.

Underlying this claim is the recent shift in Evangelical attitudes toward narrative. While Evangelical hermeneutics once insisted that the suppos- edly clearer didactic passages (e.g., Paul) should be used to understand the less clear historical or narrative passages (e.g., Luke-Acts), now there is a virtual consensus as to the theological signiŽ cance of narrative. Since Pentecostalism has from its inception based its emphasis on Spirit bap- tism upon the Lukan narrative, other Evangelicals are beginning to inter- act seriously with Pentecostal exegesis and theology.

How, then, does Luke’ s theology of the Spirit compare with that of Paul? The authors see Paul as providing a broader approach while Luke has a narrower missiological concern. Paul addresses soteriological, eccle- siological, and charismatic dimensions of the Spirit’ s work. Luke “ calls us to recognize that the church, by virtue of its reception of the Pentecostal gift, is a prophetic community empowered for a missionary task” (56). Since Luke is not describing Spirit baptism in terms of soteriology, it dis- torts his theology to link it with conversion or growth in holiness.

The authors analyze a range of exegetical and theological approaches, including those of James D.G. Dunn, Max Turner, and “ Third Wave” Evangelicals. Exhibiting an irenic spirit and seeking to portray other views with fairness, they nonetheless provide careful analysis and incisive cri- tique. In their latter chapters they address a number of issues, including subsequence, initial evidence, signs and wonders, healing and providence,



Book Reviews

spiritual gifts, and the fruit of the Spirit. They defend a Spirit baptism distinct from, subsequent to, and complementary with the soteriological work of the Spirit. “ Third Wave” interpretations of power evangelism are criticized for failing to recognize that Luke emphasizes both inspired speech and the ability to “ witness for Christ in the face of persecution or hardship” (153) as even more central to the work of the Spirit than miracles.

They also offer a careful defense of healing in the atonement. Rejecting a promise of healing by faith analogous to forensic understandings of salvation as forgiveness, they afŽ rm a range of biblical atonement the- ologies and the progressive nature of both salvation and healing. The con- clusion is “ an aggressive posture toward physical suffering” in the context of God’ s cosmic plan of salvation (168).

The persuasiveness of their argument depends in large measure on whether one agrees that Luke exclusively focuses his pneumatology on prophetic speech and missiological power. But in addition, the separation between holiness and power they propose raises important questions. In denying any causal link between Spirit baptism and holiness they seek to counteract carnal leaders who justify sinful lifestyles by claiming spir- itual power. Yet, is there not a theological connection between holiness and power that would make a normative claim that empowerment given by Spirit baptism is exercised most faithfully by those who are at least growing in love and other fruit of the Spirit? Given the teaching at Azusa Street, it seems odd indeed to say that linking “ Spirit -baptism and holi- ness leads to a repudiation of the Pentecostal message” (204). The ques- tion could well be not whether they are linked, but how.

The authors offer their work in the desire to further dialogue. It is a solid contribution and hopefully will elicit responses of the same quality and spirit as is found in this volume.

A. Scott Moreau, gen. ed., and Harold Netland and Charles Van Engen, assoc. eds., Evangelical Dictionary of World Missions (Grand Rapids, MI and Carlisle, UK: Baker Books and Paternoster Press, 2000). 1068 pp., $48.00 hardback.

Reviewed by Allan Anderson

The EDWM is in the Baker Reference Library series, with over 1400 articles by some 330 authors from a wide range of scholarship on world missions, and the Ž rst comprehensive dictionary on missions for three

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decades. Although Orbis published a smaller Dictionary of Mission three years earlier, that volume concentrated on mission theory and theology. The present volume is a more ambitious project that not only has a host of historical and bibliographical entries, but also stresses the biblical basis of its many theological discussions. The EDWM represents “ a plethora of new research materials” (7) and the contemporary information available on this rapidly changing subject. Household names in Evangelical mis- sion studies will be recognized immediately among its authors. Although clearly having an Evangelical orientation, the EDWM is also interde- nominational and ecumenical in scope, both in content and in authorship. The editor stipulates that this is “ not a dictionary of evangelical missions, but a dictionary on world missions from an evangelical perspective” (7). It features articles on Catholic, Orthodox, and Anglican missions and prominent missionaries, as well as on all the major ecumenical confer- ences. Its range is impressive, over a thousand two-columned pages of entries covering many themes of interest to academics and theologians. In addition it is written in a user-friendly way, avoiding theological jar- gon and thus accessible to a wider audience. Although the editors have tried to gather material from outside Europe and North America, the vol- ume remains overwhelmingly Western in emphasis.

A glance at the “ Master Outline” at the end of the EDWM (1047-63) reveals the comprehensiveness of this dictionary. It includes substantial entries on six broad subject areas: history of mission, missiology, practi- cal missiology, social sciences (relating to the study of missions), theol- ogy of mission, and world religions. All articles are designed to have missiological signiŽ cance. Within each of these subject areas are many further subject divisions, demonstrating the breadth of scholarship. Entries are found on every country and region of the world— even Pitcairn Island, with a population of 100, has an entry! The contents of the articles reveal a wide range of opinions, too. The editors seem to have left the contrib- utors to their own opinions and terminology— quite a variety of them. For example, the term Third World is used freely in the dictionary and sup- ported by an article (and a following one on “ Third World Women” ), but there is also an entry on “ Two-Thirds World” as a parallel designation for countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the PaciŽ c. Although the title of the dictionary uses the term missions, rather than mission, the general editor debates this in “ Mission and Missions,” and other articles re ect the different uses of these terms. A similar ambiguity lies in the use of cross-cultural and intercultural, and primal religion and folk religion.

The editors admit that the Ž nal selection of entries was made know-



Book Reviews

ing that it would be impossible to please everyone. The quality of the articles, however, is not always consistent, although the enormity of the task of editing a multiple-authored dictionary as comprehensive as this one must be acknowledged. On the whole, the editors have done extremely well. Many articles, especially the theoretical ones, are extremely infor- mative, theologically sound, and useful. Some controversial articles are handled fairly, like articles on “ Powers” and “ Territorial Spirits,” and those on “ Contextualization” and “ Indigenous Churches.” Others, however, are blandly dismissive of the considerable debate on these concepts, like the entries on the “ Church Growth Movement” and the “ Homogeneous Unit Principle” by Peter Wagner, although a separate article entitled “ Contro- versies in Contemporary Evangelical Mission Theory” presents a more balanced approach. Other articles, like those on “ Primal Religions,” “ Syn- cretism,” and “ Theology of Religions” leave unanswered questions, and some of the country articles lack up-to-date information. The entry on the “ United Kingdom,” for example, traces the history of Christianity there and ends in 1910, after which there was apparently nothing of interest to “ mission” ! Entries on world religions tend to be fair, factual, and less polemical than they would have been in an Evangelical publication a few years ago, but entries on new religious movements such as Mormons and Jehovah’ s Witnesses, and that on “ Cults, Cultism,” are less charitable.

From the perspective of Pentecostal and Charismatic studies, it is dis- appointing that major classical Pentecostal denominational and Charismatic missions receive scant attention, in spite of their prominence in world missions today. The only exceptions are an article by Kenneth Gill on “ Charismatic Missions,” one by Todd Johnson on “ Independent Charismatic Ministries,” and two articles by Gary McGee on “ Pentecostal Missions” and “ Pentecostal Movement,” which all concentrate largely on the North American scene and say little about Pentecostalism elsewhere. There is also an interesting entry by Peter Wagner on “ New Apostolic Reformation Missions,” which he claims is “ the fastest growing segment of Christianity” (679). There are separate entries on Baptist, Friends, Lutheran, Mennonite, Methodist, Moravian, Presbyterian, and several smaller mission agencies. David Bundy’ s article on “ Wesleyan/Holiness Missions” mentions the Church of God in Christ and the Church of God (Cleveland). But one would have hoped to see separate entries on the enormous and globally signiŽ cant mission organizations of the Assemblies of God, the Church of God (Cleveland), and Youth With a Mission, to name but three. Among the many biographical entries on missionaries from various eras, mis- sionary societies, and denominations, there are only some Ž fteen entries



Pentecostal Theology, Volume 24, No. 1, Spring 2002

on Pentecostals, and the editors’ commendable efforts to be gender inclu- sive mean that the majority (nine) of these entries are Pentecostal women. Of the remaining six Pentecostal men, one is from Korea (David Yonggi Cho), one from South Africa (Nicholas Bhengu), and one from Chile (Willis Hoover). William Seymour does not have an entry. Other entries of particular interest to Pentecostal/Charismatic studies include one on “ Gifts of the Spirit,” an entry on “ Miracles in Mission,” one by Wagner on “ Power Ministries,” and another on “ Signs and Wonders.”

In spite of its shortcomings (including typographical and factual errors), the EDWM remains a very important and informative book that will be used widely as a source of reference for many years to come.

Thomas Rausch, ed., Catholics and Evangelicals: Do They Share a Common Future? (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000). 178 pp., $14.99 paper.

Reviewed by Brother Jeffrey Gros, F.S.C.

This brief and readable volume brings together a variety of papers on Catholic relations as they touch on Holiness, Pentecostal, and Evangelical communities. It is clear that the wider view of the Evangelical subcul- ture, especially in the United States and Great Britain, is intended rather than a narrower, Reformed understanding of Evangelicalism. The lead article by Cecil Robeck sets the tone by surveying the communities within the Evangelical subculture, its style and content, and the variety of dia- logues and relationships that have emerged, including the Catholic- Pentecostal dialogue. The companion opening essay by the editor also outlines the differences, but lifts up a rich diversity of common concerns and contacts that have enriched the possibilities of Catholics and Evan- gelicals deepening their common faith and witness.

The volume includes Ž ve more chapters, with a foreword by Fuller President Richard Mouw and an afterword by Cardinal Edward Cassidy, President of the (Vatican) PontiŽ cal Council for Promoting Christian Unity. There are a pair of essays on salvation and on the nature of the church as understood in the two traditions. Robert Wilken provides a substantial essay on salvation in the early church, which broadens out the perspec- tive of Christian history on the person and work of Christ beyond the more narrow substitutionary atonement motif so central to the Reformed sector of Evangelicalism.

Gerald Bray provides a most useful essay on the theological content

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Book Reviews

of Evangelical understandings of salvation in the context of their histor- ical emergence. While this is an essay by an Evangelical, exposing very sympathetically the Evangelical position, it also is a challenge to anti- intellectual and ahistorical approaches of Evangelicals to their own faith. The element of historical consciousness, and the clarity in distinguishing the Calvinist from the Wesleyan and Pentecostal soteriological emphases, makes it a clearer and more irenic statement than is often encountered. The author also documents why the Reformed position often has the ascen- dancy in discussions of Evangelicalism.

Avery Dulles and Timothy George make signiŽ cant contributions to the discussion and to mutual understanding by outlining the differing posi- tions on the nature of the church. Dulles lays out the relationship of church, sacrament, and ministry from a Catholic perspective, outlining how there are points of contact, even in spite of the profound differences. While the diversity of positions on the church among Evangelicals provides a chal- lenge, George attempts a modest description toward an Evangelical eccle- siology. He explores the universality of the church, its relationship to the gospel in Evangelicalism, and the four creedal marks as they can be expli- cated from Evangelical points of view. While being quite clear about the differences, it strikes a clear irenic tone in what is often a very contro- versial area of theology.

A Ž nal article details a fascinating experiment in evangelism by David Bjork. He is an Evangelical missionary in France whose experience with sharing Christ with French youth has led him to reconnect them with the Catholic Church as the religious and cultural home in which their Evangelical faith can be best nourished. This experience and gospel man- date, as he sees it, has led him into some creative contact with Catholicism and its leaders.

The gospel of Jesus Christ has brought Evangelical and Catholic fel- low Christians into vital contact in a variety of ways, some of which are outlined in this volume. This book will be a helpful resource for teach- ers and pastors helping Christians understand some of the theological bases for this relationship, some of the challenges it faces, and some of the resources for deepening the understanding of the Holy Spirit’ s call toward reconciliation among Christians. Several of the formal interna- tional dialogues are cited, as well as the decades of local dialogues in places like SpringŽ eld, Missouri and Los Angeles. It is only to be hoped that these local and international linkages will make possible dialogues in the United States, on a national level, that will serve to deepen these ties with theological work clarifying and even resolving some of the issues



Pentecostal Theology, Volume 24, No. 1, Spring 2002

that continue to burden these Christian ties. Certainly a common witness to the gospel demands no less.

Vinson Synan, The Century of the Holy Spirit: 100 Years of Pentecostal and Charismatic Renewal (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2001). xi + 492 pp., $29.99 hardcover.

Reviewed by Henry Lederle

There can be no doubt that with this volume Synan has made a last- ing contribution to the recording of Pentecostal history. It is poised to become the standard work of reference for the historical development of the various Pentecostal and Charismatic awakenings of the twentieth cen- tury. As the seasoned scholar who Ž rst gave us The Holiness-Pentecostal Movement in the United States (1971), Synan has now produced this mag- num opus which encompasses and includes all the diverse strands of a mushrooming and vibrant branch of Christianity that demographers esti- mate as representing 25 per cent of global Christianity or 550 million believers. The Century of the Holy Spirit is eminently readable and com- municates well to our postmodern world. It contains numerous photographs (many in color) and biographical vignettes on major Ž gures and issues. The text is broken down into easily manageable sections by subdivisions.

To enhance the quality of research and incorporate variety Synan has gathered an impressive team of fellow scholars. Although he provides for the basic thrust and ensures a coherent narrative by himself writing half the volume, he generously includes specialists in speciŽ c areas, among them Gary McGee on Pentecostal Missions, Peter Hocken on Catholic Charismatics, David Harrell on televangelists, and Susan Hyatt on Spirit- Ž lled women. I found the chapters on African-American and Hispanic Pentecostalism to be somewhat lacking in clarity and comprehensiveness.

After an overview of the whole Ž eld the narrative moves from eigh- teenth-century Methodism via Edward Irving to the Wesleyan and Keswick Holiness forerunners of American Pentecostalism. I found the highlight- ing of the role of the French Revolutionary “ reign of terror” in calling forth an interest in apocalypticism and the imminent return of Christ to be a novel and enlightening approach. Robert Owens writes an informa- tive chapter on the Azusa Street revival, although he could have paid more attention to the Black roots of Pentecostalism— the slave awakenings of the Caribbean in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as demonstrated by the research of Walter Hollenweger and Allan Anderson as well as by

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Book Reviews

the painstaking, still largely unpublished work of Mel Robeck. McGee captures the essence of early Pentecostal missiology with a quote from J. Roswell Flower: “ When the Holy Spirit comes into our hearts the mis- sionary spirit comes with it; they are inseparable” (73). Synan next skill- fully guides us through the Holiness Pentecostal Churches with their three-staged Christian life, and then the “ Finished Work” Churches, such as the Assemblies of God, that eliminated sanctiŽ cation as an event from the established grid. Drawing on his immensely wide personal experi- ence, Synan next discusses the denominational Charismatic renewal of the 1960s and 1970s. He says little, however, about the innovative theo- logical categories that evolved at this time. Hocken presents us with a nuanced description of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal— perhaps the best overview in print. Because of his thoroughness the omission of ref- erence to the Benedictines of Pecos, New Mexico is the more noticeable.

Hyatt’ s chapter on the contribution of women is most helpful and brings many forgotten Ž gures to light. Her account of Kuhlman is too brief and she does not discuss Agnes Sanford or Gloria Copeland. David Daniels illustrates that Pentecostalism has been, from its origins, “ an interracial and multicultural expression of Christianity” (266). Increasingly, as scholars uncover the story of the Azusa Street revival, it is becoming apparent that the original challenge of love and unity across divisive barriers of class, race, and nationality may have been just as pivotal as the issue of glossolalia. Seymour himself is said to have relinquished “ initial evidence” as he encountered tongue speakers devoid of the fruit of the Spirit. The contours of Latino Pentecostalism is a fascinating and mostly unsung story. I would take issue with the suggestion that the abandonment of their traditional Catholic beliefs by Latin American Pentecostals has a sociological expla- nation (320).

David Harrell updates his in-depth research on post-World War II heal- ing evangelists ( All Things Are Possible , 1975) and also covers foreign evangelism, television and teaching ministries, the scandals of the late eighties, and the more recent successes of TBN, Benny Hinn, T.D. Jakes, and Reinhard Bonnke.

In his last chapter Synan addresses “ streams of renewal” at the close of the twentieth century. He outlines issues such as the Shepherding con- troversy, Faith churches, the Convergence movement, the New Apostolic Churches, and recent revivals. David Barrett shares his detailed demo- graphic surveys in a concluding chapter and appendix. One is amazed at the vast scope of his knowledge, confused at times by his unorthodox ter- minology, and eventually thoroughly perplexed by his strange futuristic



Pentecostal Theology, Volume 24, No. 1, Spring 2002

prophecies, which range from Ž ctitious events in 2004 to the year 3781, in which we hear, for example, of the Monks of the Order of Liebowitz, who preserve knowledge after the nuclear holocaust of World War III (450-53). What makes this so inappropriate in a history book is that it directly follows a meticulous chronological time line of events from the Old Testament period to 2001.

This is a remarkable book, and despite some of its aws I fully expect it to serve as our standard history for at least the next twenty years. If future editions allow for some revision, it may be helpful to Ž ll in some lacunae, especially in the most recent developments regarding the Inde- pendent Charismatic Churches (chapter 14). The Vineyard Movement of John Wimber deserves more attention, including the amazing story of the short-lived Signs and Wonders course at Fuller Seminary. The “ Kingdom Now” movement and the International Communion of Charismatic Churches led by Archbishop Earl Paulk surely deserve mention, however one may assess them, as do the Kansas City Prophets and the International House of Prayer of Mike Bickle and others. Inevitably contemporary history will be evaluated differently by every author but these aspects merit discus- sion. The academic community is indebted to Thomas Nelson for taking on such a project, and Vinson Synan has undoubtedly enhanced his rep- utation as the preeminent historian of the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements with this timely study.

Grant Wacker, Heaven Below: Early Pentecostals and American Culture (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001). xiii + 364 pp., $35.00.

Reviewed by Augustus Cerillo, Jr.

Grant Wacker’ s Heaven Below is a brilliant recreation of pre-1920s Pentecostal life and thought. In Ž fteen exhaustively researched and super- bly written thematic chapters, the Duke University historian “ describes the contours of pentecostal culture in the United States from 1900 to 1925” (ix). Writing, as he indicates, with “ one leg still stuck in the tent” (x) of Pentecostalism, the Harvard-trained historian draws upon his own Pentecostal past and Evangelical present to present an empathetic, though not uncritical, account of Pentecostals’ everyday lives, and especially their religious behavior. More than any book to date, therefore, Wacker, through the use of all sorts of primary documents, helps twenty-Ž rst- century folk enter the world of the Ž rst generation of Pentecostals. The

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Ž fteen chapter-essays are bounded by an Introduction and an Epilogue. In the Introduction, Wacker brie y sketches the history of the emergence of early twentieth-century Pentecostalism. For a more detailed history of the origins of American Pentecostalism, readers still need to consult stan- dard works in the Ž eld (for a list of such works, see Augustus Cerillo, Jr, and Grant Wacker, “ Bibliography and Historiography of Pentecostalism in the United States,” New International Dictionary of the Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements , ed. Stanley Burgess [Grand Rapids, MI: Harper Collins Zondervan, forthcoming 2001]).

The Ž rst eleven of the Ž fteen chapters focus “ on early Pentecostals’ religious culture— the ideas, symbols, rituals, and institutional practices that express their sense of the sacred” (197). SpeciŽ cally, Wacker treats in successive essays Pentecostal “ attitudes toward the other world, and this one” (18) (“ Temperament” ); the centrality of Holy Spirit baptism and tongues for the identity of the movement (“ Tongues” ); the place and func- tion of personal testimony in Pentecostal services (“ Testimony” ); the importance of Scripture, the Holy Spirit and experience as sources of authority (“ Authority” ); Pentecostal views of the supernatural and natural worlds (“ Cosmos” ); worship practices (“ Worship” ); preaching styles (“ Rhetoric” ); how Pentecostals behaved at work and play (“ Customs” ); the methods and criteria for choosing leaders (“ Leaders” ); women’ s roles in the revival (“ Women” ); and relations between Pentecostals and reli- gious, social, and political outsiders (“ Boundaries” ). Chapters 12 to 14 focus on Pentecostals’ interactions with their external environment. Chapter 12, “ Society,” provides a social and demographic proŽ le of Pentecostals; chapter 13, “ Nation,” analyzes how Pentecostals related to the govern- mental and political structures, Progressive Era reform, and the ethnic and racial aspects of American life; chapter 14, “ War,” treats Pentecostal atti- tudes toward participation in war, especially World War I. The last chap- ter, “ Destiny,” examines Pentecostals’ views of their own and the world’ s destinies, especially the impact of latter rain theory on the movement’ s expansionist rhetoric.

These thematic chapters are more than a set of discrete essays. The conceptual underpinning that combines them into a coherent narrative is Wacker’ s thesis that the genius of the Pentecostal movement, what gave it staying power, lay in its ability to combine the seemingly incompati- ble twin impulses of primitivism and pragmatism, or, as he writes in his preface, Pentecostals’ ability to hold in tension “ otherworldly aspirations” and “ thisworldly shrewdness” (ix). More technically, the author deŽ nes the primitivistic impulse, or the idealistic side of Pentecostalism, as “ a



Pentecostal Theology, Volume 24, No. 1, Spring 2002

determination to return to Ž rst things,” “ to be guided solely by God’ s Spirit in every aspect of their lives” (12). He deŽ nes pragmatism, or the realistic and practical side of Pentecostalism, as the Pentecostals’ will- ingness “ to work within the social and cultural expectations of the age” (13), their “ ability to Ž gure the odds and react appropriately” (14). The primitive impulse, he argues, freed Pentecostals “ from self-doubt” and, paradoxically, “ legitimated reasonable accommodations to modern cul- ture, and released boundless energy for feats of worldly enterprise” (14).

Let me illustrate how, in Wacker’ s account, Pentecostals kept these two incompatible impulses in balance with each other and created a last- ing movement. They combined an absolute trust in the efŽ cacy of prayer with a belief that God still expected them to use their skills and savvy in doing God’ s work in the world. When missionary tongues seemed not to work, most quietly abandoned the doctrine. Pentecostals combined Holy Spirit-inspired preaching with this-worldly pulpit artistry. They renounced worldly pleasures only to create their own social activities. They inter- preted their origins as providentially inspired and led, but had their share of in uential celebrities, denominational administrators and teacher-leaders, and generally admired people who could get things done. If in the incip- ient days of the revival scores of women pursued an active public min- istry and some Pentecostals were ardent paciŽ sts, by the era of World War I, as Pentecostals accommodated to the prevailing culture, women found their ministry opportunities becoming restricted and denominational leaders came to accept the nation’ s intervention in World War I.

In a short Epilogue, Wacker hammers home the point that the ability of the Pentecostals “ to balance the most eye-popping features of the supernatural with the most chest-thumping features of the natural and to do so without admitting it” (266) accounts for their success in early twentieth-century America and for their continued spectacular success in the United States and abroad in modern and postmodern times. They solved, he writes, the “ ‘ Mary and Martha’ problem: how to negotiate spir- itual and material well being at once” (268-69). That they did so suc- cessfully, in his judgment, meant that for Pentecostals life “ was heaven below” (269). In the Epilogue, Wacker also reemphasizes another inter- pretive chord that resonates throughout the book, although one would wish at times a little more explicitly and fully: that at bottom, demo- graphically and ideologically, Pentecostals were much like other Americans; and that the Pentecostal movement was “ deeply American,” “ as American as apple pie” (267).

It is to be hoped that Heaven Below will encourage other scholars to



Book Reviews

go to the primary sources and test Wacker’ s thesis about the primitive and pragmatic impulses within Pentecostalism, especially against regional, ethnic, racial, individual church, and biographical perspectives. His the- matic topics should suggest scores of full-length books in which scholars can interact with Wacker’ s assessments and interpretations. In fact, other scholars will beneŽ t greatly by a close reading of his footnotes, which are a goldmine of information on the signiŽ cant secondary literature and extant primary documents. It is unfortunate that the publisher did not pro- vide for a separate bibliography, but then again, you can’ t have everything. If you want to know a great deal about early Pentecostals and Pentecostalism, buy this book and read it carefully. It is well worth the effort.

Keith Warrington, Jesus the Healer: Paradigm or Unique Phenomenon? (Carlisle, Cumbria, UK, and Waynesboro, GA: Paternoster Press, 2000). xvi + 192 pp., £ 19.99.

Reviewed by Paul Elbert

Warrington is certainly wise to begin his considerations by noting that “ [u]ltimately, suffering is to be viewed in the context of eternity, over which God reigns supreme. He knows all the answers, including those that have eluded us all, answers that may be revealed at the appropriate time, even in the life to come. In the meantime the development of a the- ology of suffering as well as a theology of wholeness must be placed higher up the agenda of important issues to be tackled by Christians” (x). Another factor in the importance of this issue is the gradually dawning realization in world Christianity that the paleo-Reformed paradigm, which drives a wedge between the earthly Jesus and the heavenly Jesus with cessationistic and truncating speculations regarding the supernatural and the miraculous (speculations unquestioningly preserved in much contem- porary scholarship), is indeed a false paradigm. Warrington’ s very timely contribution is to be seen in these contexts and in the context of two other recent works in the same genre: one by Ronald A.N. Kydd, Healing Through the Centuries: Models for Understanding (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1998) with a critical review by Kimberly Alexander, JPT 16 (2000): 117-27; and the other by John Christopher Thomas, The Devil, Disease and Deliverance: Origins of Illness in New Testament Thought (JPTSup 13; ShefŽ eld: ShefŽ eld Academic Press, 1998) with an appreci- ation and critique by myself, AJPS 3, No. 1 (2000): 139-54.

Jesus’ healings were without doubt sensational against the background

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of the Ž rst century Greco-Roman world and authenticated his mission and person (12). Gospel writers sought to transmit lessons the healings taught, faith and obedience. Warrington argues that Jesus’ healing ministry may not be replicated in our time (18), but he does see these healings as exam- ples to be prayed for. What Warrington wants to get away from is the idea that healing is guaranteed or is only a matter of faith, minimizing the sovereignty of God. Since Jesus was unique, his healing and exor- cism ministry is unique. While of course granting this, I must say that this hand can be overplayed given 1 Cor. 12-14, James 5, and the Lukan gift of the Holy Spirit, for example. Uniqueness is one thing; examples to be prayed for from the heavenly Lord Jesus are another thing. My impression is that Warrington does not want to squash any desire of believ- ers to pray for and minister gifts of healings, while, at the same time, say- ing that Jesus’ “ healing powers are to be recognized as signposts to him and not to more successful healing ministry” (29). If there are individu- als, real or imaginary, who claim that their healing ministry is more suc- cessful than was Jesus,’ then Warrington’ s admonition is for them.

Examining the accounts of Jesus’ healings and exorcisms (30-140, the bulk of the book), Warrington detects a number of interesting points. For example, the prayer motif of Luke reminds Christian readers to listen to God for direction in their vocation as obedient witnesses, not to be pres- sured by dictates. Presumably this translates into a vocation that is sen- sitive to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, not one that makes hand-waving claims as to the heavenly Jesus’ desire to heal everyone all the time or one that asserts equally bombastic claims as to the cessation of spiritual gifts, or to a scholarly vocation of philosophically based denial of the supernatural. Warrington, in pastoral fashion, strives admirably to incul- cate real faith in his readers, stressing opportunities to believe in Jesus based on his deeds as well as his words. Warrington’ s treatment of indi- vidual healings and exorcisms offers many heretofore unexplored insights and is to be heartily recommended as a positive and pleasant read.

Warrington, however, may be overreacting a little to those ministries, real or imagined, with supposedly more successful healing and exorcis- ing ministries than those of the earthly Jesus. He may also be a little overly deferent to those scholarly ministries which entomb the signiŽ cance of the earthly Jesus into a collection of moral and ethical teachings, while ignoring the exemplary signiŽ cance that his healings potentially set for what the heavenly Jesus, through the Spirit of Jesus, might want to con- tinue to do. The Evangelists themselves do not go about setting bound- aries on what the heavenly Jesus could or might do. They appear relatively



Book Reviews

optimistic, devoting signiŽ cant portions of their narrative to supernatural and miraculous deeds of their main character. Was it pedagogical zeal alone that motivated these signiŽ cant portions or did their Christian expe- rience also serve as a motivator in accurate historical composition? Exemplary Ž gures were of great importance in the Greco-Roman narra- tive world. In the case of this particular Ž gure, lessons and examples go beyond the grave to a heavenly Ž gure and the Evangelists knew this. Since while they wrote the Evangelists believe that their main character is now the heavenly Jesus, care must be taken not to assign only didactic value to their descriptions of Jesus’ deeds and to imprison the Evangelists’ lit- erary lives in a world of nonexperience.

With regard to John 14:12-14, Warrington appears to lean toward the cessationistic notion that Jesus’ “ work is now complete” (149), although “ the promise may be actualized in the context of the corporate church” (150). With regard to Matthew 8:17, “ In Isaiah, the inŽ rmities seem to be of a spiritual kind; in Matthew, physical illnesses are the subject. Jesus did not remove people’ s illnesses on the cross; he did it in life through his healing activity. . . . Although the passage does stress the resources available to Jesus that enabled him to heal, to move beyond this and claim healing unconditionally for all is not only wrong but also a recipe for trauma” (46). However, this passage, its contextual setting, and its mean- ing for Matthew remain the subject of discussion by three recent works that Warrington did not take into consideration at this juncture, since the latter were as yet unavailable: Thomas, Devil, 173, 174; Blaine Charette, Restoring Presence: The Spirit in Matthew’ s Gospel (JPTSup 18; ShefŽ eld: ShefŽ eld Academic Press, 2000), 129; and William W. Menzies and Robert P. Menzies, “ Healing in the Atonement,” in their Spirit and Power: Founda- tions of Pentecostal Experience (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2000), 159-70.

Warrington’ s main concern is to assess the healing ministry of the earthly Jesus as a paradigmatic or as a pedagogical model for believers. For the Evangelists it is, some of each. In my humble judgement, Warrington detects (162) two main overall goals: (1) to teach about Jesus’ person and mission; and (2) to teach faith and obedience. But a third category looms large, the curative and the merciful. It is this category in the life of the earthly Jesus that the Evangelists undoubtedly linked in some measure to the heavenly Jesus.

Warrington is right and helpful in attempting to correct abuses of some healing ministries, because overzealous attitudes deserve a word of cor- rection. He is not so keen, however, to correct attitudes from the opposite



Pentecostal Theology, Volume 24, No. 1, Spring 2002

pole, scholars who say that Jesus’ “ work is now complete” (149), or to investigate their antisupernatural biases.

I join Warrington in recommending that Jesus’ ministry of healing and exorcism is worthy of ongoing consideration. Warrington’ s tact of address- ing to readers a series of well-composed questions after each chapter helps them re ect on “ How do we know?” and “ Why do we believe?” He is to be thanked for his honest and open style, and for his modesty with respect to the subject matter that is not that common within the raucous cavalry style of previous scholarship. It is because of Ž ne, well-researched works like this present volume that we are able to continue to learn and to be motivated to carry on.

Matthias Wenk, Community-Forming Power: The Socio-Ethical Role of the Spirit in Luke-Acts , Journal of Pentecostal Theology Supplement Series 19 (ShefŽ eld: ShefŽ eld Academic Press, 2000). 317 pp. + bib- liography and indices. £ 15.95; $21.95 paper.

Reviewed by Timothy Berkley

This is a revised Ph.D. thesis written under the direction of Max Turner. The introductory chapter surveys the debate concerning the presence of religious and ethical dimensions in Lukan pneumatology. Wenk’ s thesis is that the role of the Spirit in Luke-Acts includes the creation of an expec- tation of ethical transformation as part of the restoration of Israel. The thesis is an extension of the work of Turner ( Power from on High: The Spirit in Israel’ s Restoration and Witness in Luke-Acts [ShefŽ eld: ShefŽ eld Academic Press, 1996]). It is presented as a contrast to the view of Robert Menzies which characterizes the role of the Spirit as empowerment for service and witness ( Empowered for Witness: The Spirit in Luke-Acts [ShefŽ eld: JSOT Press, 1994]).

The book is divided into two parts. Chapters 2-6 comprise an “ In- troduction to the Spirit in the Hebrew Old Testament and in Second Temple Judaism.” Chapters 7-13 fall under the title “ The Spirit and the Religious Life of the People of God in Luke-Acts.” Chapter 14 is the conclusion.

Chapter 2, on the role of the Spirit in the Hebrew Scriptures, is extremely brief, only eight pages long. Wenk limits himself to discussing those pas- sages which he believes speciŽ cally address an ethical/religious role for the Spirit. He would have strengthened his case if he had developed this section in more detail. In chapters 3-5, on the Spirit in Palestinian, Hellenistic, and Qumranian Jewish literature, the problem is precisely the

© 2002 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden

pp. 96-98


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opposite. By the inclusion of a substantial amount of what he admits to be questionable evidence he dilutes the force of his argument. There are, however, some indications that the Spirit’ s actions in OT and Second Temple literature do include an element of ethical transformation.

The core of the work is the second section, on the role of the Spirit in Luke-Acts. Here Wenk relies on speech-act theory to make a case that the act of prophetic speech, rather than just the content, creates an expec- tation of ethical/religious change. He believes that Luke appropriates the broader OT understanding of the “ Spirit of Prophecy” with its ethical dimension. Wenk speaks variously of an ethical, religious, sociological, and soteriological role for the Spirit almost interchangeably. This blur- ring of terms weakens his case.

Wenk asserts that the personal holiness of both John the Baptist and Jesus (as well as other Spirit-Ž lled characters) is derived from the Spirit and is intended to help bring about the restoration of Israel. In the case of John he is able to say this because he has determined “ that all of his life and ministry has to be seen from a pneumatic perspective” (176). What, then, can be said of the life of John or Jesus that isn’ t a function of the Spirit?

This is not fatal to Wenk’ s point. Many of the examples he gives, how- ever, of ethical/religious consequences of Spirit-inspired speech-action come as a result of Spirit-empowered ministry; that is, the ethical change comes about through the speech and action of an ethically and dynamically transformed minister. Are we simply saying that the Spirit empowers for ministry, which reaps an ethical/religious result both in the minister (be it Moses, John the Baptist, or Jesus) and in those to whom the minister speaks?

Wenk means more than that. Through speech-act theory he claims that the act of speaking prophetically itself has an ethical intent and result. Perhaps we would do better to discuss direct and indirect roles. A direct role of the Spirit in Luke-Acts is empowerment for ministry (including the ethical transformation of the minister). Through that ministry (even the act of speaking prophetically itself) the Spirit indirectly effects ethical/ religious transformation. Wenk blurs a distinction between God’ s purpose toward God’ s people and the Holy Spirit as the agent of God’ s power in the accomplishment of that purpose.

Wenk argues that Luke’ s use of Joel 3:1-5 in Acts 2 describes escha- tological renewal including ethical transformation (254-55). The case at this point is not as strong. It depends, as do other key points of his argu- ment, upon his belief that a “ New Exodus” is programmatic for Luke’ s pneumatology.



Pentecostal Theology, Volume 24, No. 1, Spring 2002

Stylistically, the volume is a dissertation intended for specialists and does not lend itself to readability. But for academic readers these points amount to a lack of “ reader conveniences” and do not seriously affect Wenk’ s thesis. While not convincing at every point, Wenk calls into ques- tion assumptions that limit the role of the Spirit in Luke-Acts to an empow- erment for service and see the action of the Spirit almost exclusively in inspired speech. He has shown how the Spirit functions to bring about ethical transformation in a manner consistent with the Spirit-inspired prophetic tradition of the Hebrew Scriptures.

Amos Yong, Discerning the Spirit(s): A Pentecostal-Charismatic Contribution to Christian Theology of Religions , Journal of Pentecostal Theology Supplement Series 20 (ShefŽ eld: ShefŽ eld Academic Press, 2000). 392 pp., $ 21.95 paper.

Reviewed by Donald L. Gelpi, S.J.

This excellent study not only makes a remarkable speculative contri- bution to Pentecostal and Charismatic theology, but it also signiŽ cantly advances theological re ection on dialogue among the world religions. The personal testimonies preceding each chapter transform this work into a personal as well as a theological journey.

In surveying important ways in which different Christian theologians and theological traditions tend to perceive the world religions, Amos Yong lucidly presents the debate between those who would promote an inclu- sive toleration for all religious faiths and those who would reject any faith but Christianity as making normative revelatory claims. He also argues persuasively, and in my opinion correctly, that for Christians to begin the dialogue with other religions by raising christological issues tends to inhibit rather than foster any subsequent conversation, given the norma- tive revelatory claims that Christian faith in the Incarnation necessarily makes. Yong also underscores the speculative tension that arises from making universal salviŽ c claims for the historically particular revelation of God in Jesus of Nazareth.

Yong himself discovers in pneumatology, in systematic re ection on the Holy Spirit’ s role in the economy of salvation, a more promising start- ing point for interfaith dialogue. Moreover, he proposes that a Pentecostal/ Charismatic experience of the Spirit makes an important and normative contribution to the dialogue among the religions at whose threshold the churches all stand.

© 2002 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden

pp. 98-101


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Yong argues, again correctly in my estimation, that the Son, the Second Person of the Trinity, and the Spirit, the Third Person, perform different but inseparable roles in the economy of salvation. He correctly excludes any account of their different roles that would lead in the direction of trinitarian subordinationism. At the same time, one cannot simply iden- tify the role of Son and Spirit in the economy of salvation because the Spirit’ s saving activity in Israel preceded the incarnation of the Son. In addition, the Spirit inspired Jesus’ own mortal ministry. At the same time, the Son cannot be separated from the Spirit because the risen Christ sends the Spirit in eschatological plentitude.

Yong also correctly points out that a pneumatological approach to dia- logue among the world religions necessarily raises the question of dis- cernment. One needs speciŽ c and applicable criteria for discerning among the different spirits encountered both among Christians and in religious traditions other than Christianity. In formulating normative criteria for discernment Yong builds creatively on work done by Robert Cummings Neville, Ralph Del Colle, and myself, but his foundational pneumatology thinks its own thoughts and proceeds with a remarkable combination of lucidity and creativity.

Yong’ s distinctive approach to developing a foundational pneumatol- ogy delineates the shape of what he calls a “ pneumatological imagina- tion.” That discernment engages the imagination makes eminently good sense to me, since the charism of discernment graces human prudential deliberation and since prudential deliberation helps give shape to intu- itive and therefore to imaginative thinking. Here the work of William Lynch, S.J. is relevant to Yong’ s argument. Lynch argued, correctly in my estimation, that the Christian imagination has its own distinctive mor- phology. Lynch characterized the Christian imagination as “ incarnational” in its ability to discover divine meaning and signiŽ cance in the concrete, the physical, the material. In characterizing the Christian imagination as “ pneumatological,” Yong’ s thought moves in a different direction from Lynch’ s but in a direction that complements rather than contradicts the latter’ s thought.

Drawing on insights from the philosophy of Charles Sanders Peirce, whose thought has deeply in uenced both my own and Neville’ s think- ing, Yong argues that the Spirit “ illuminates the symbolic structure of reality that enables us to know” (118). He also correctly argues that any discernment of the presence of the Spirit requires us to name the Spirit’ s absence as well. In the absence of the Spirit, human experience takes on a demonic and a Satanic character. Yong urges, again, I believe, quite



Pentecostal Theology, Volume 24, No. 1, Spring 2002

correctly, that humans experience the Spirit “ as a Ž eld of force within which all things Ž nd their true identity in relationship” (131). In contrast to our experience of the Spirit, we experience the demonic as Ž elds of force or habits of chaos, irrationality, isolation, alienation, and stagnation that resist the life-giving action of the Spirit. Yong sums up his founda- tional pneumatology as “ an understanding of the Spirit as the divine power who constitutes the manyness of the world, each in its own authenticity and integrity, and who unites the manyness of the world in its harmony” (132).

With a sure theological touch, Yong resists any attempt to separate the Word of God from the Spirit of God. In this sense he gives qualiŽ ed endorsement to Ralph Del Colle’ s attempt to resurrect Irenaeus of Lyons’ s perception of the Word and the Spirit as “ the two hands of God.” In the evolution of patristic theology, Irenaeus’ s metaphor in fact took a subor- dinationist turn when theologians started assigning some divine activities to the Son and others to the Spirit instead of perceiving them, as Athanasius correctly insisted one must, as perfectly coactive with the Father.

Yong argues that the Pentecostal tradition needs to develop a theo- logical rationale for engaging in dialogue with the world religions because its ecumenical roots and global presence require it. He suggests that the traditional Pentecostal emphasis on missions also requires Pentecostals to develop a theology of religions. Here, I believe, Pentecostals could take a page from the missionary efforts of the Ž rst Jesuits who saw that effec- tive, inculturated evangelization requires missionaries to validate anything in the religious and cultural traditions of non-Christians compatible with the gospel. He also believes that a sound theology of religions has some- thing to contribute to reaching a consensus about what the very term Pentecostal means.

Given the fallibility and Ž nitude of the human mind, Yong acknowl- edges quite correctly that any attempt to discern between the pneumatic and the demonic brings its risks. He also insists that sound discernment needs to acknowledge the complexity both of human experience and of the religious variables that shape human experience. Discernment, he cor- rectly argues, “ involves the entire range of phenomena that is operative in the rituals, acts, and symbols of religious experience.”

Yong puts his theory of a pneumatological imagination to the test in discerning the spirits operative in a syncretistic religious movement in Brazil called Umbanda. In my judgment, his theory passes that test with ying colors.

In this work Yong demonstrates that Pentecostal theology has indeed



Book Reviews

come of age. His thought displays a sure mastery of the philosophical, theological, and pastoral issues he discusses. I look forward to studying his future theological explorations, which promise to enlighten and enrich not just the Pentecostal tradition, but all the churches.



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