Theological Reflections On “ ‘Do Not Quench The Spirit’ The Life And Mission Of The Church”

Theological Reflections On “ ‘Do Not Quench The Spirit’  The Life And Mission Of The Church”

Click to join the conversation with over 500,000 Pentecostal believers and scholars

Click to get our FREE MOBILE APP and stay connected



Pneuma 41 (2019) 501–502

Ecumenical Reflections

Theological Reflections on “‘Do Not Quench the Spirit’: The Life and Mission of the Church” A Brief Introduction

Pentecostals and Roman Catholics have been engaged in ecumenical dialogue since the 1970s. “‘Do Not Quench the Spirit’: Charisms in the Life and Mission of the Church” is the final report from the sixth phase of the International Catholic-Pentecostal Dialogue that took place from 2011 to 2015. As the lead- ing journal for pentecostal scholarship, Pneuma has disseminated these ecu- menical reports with theological reflections over the years, including “Perspec- tives on Koinonia” (1990) and “Evangelism, Proselytism and Common Witness” (1998). In keeping with this practice, we are pleased to include several theolog- ical reflections on “Do Not Quench the Spirit” here as well.

This bilateral report is the first to conduct an in-depth study of the theol- ogy of charisms. We thought it would be helpful to the reader to provide a brief overview of the report:

– The opening paragraphs give justification for an exploration of charisms in

the church—looking in particular to their significance, discernment, and

pastoral implications. The choice of topic stems from the Steering Commit-

tee’s 1971 decision to give attention to the meaning of the bilateral dialogue

for the church’s fullness of life in the Spirit.

– The report then delves in to a discussion of what Pentecostals and Catholics

hold in common, including the belief that charisms are gifts given by the

Spirit to believers, the inclusion of both extraordinary and ordinary charisms

in the life and mission of the church, and that as gifts of the risen and

ascended Lord given through the Holy Spirit, charisms are revealed in works

of power as well as in the weakness, poverty, and suffering of the cross. – The biblical foundation and historical observations for charisms are ex-

plored with the conclusion that the Holy Spirit is the primary agent of the

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2019 | doi:10.1163/15700747-04103037



ecumenical reflections

church’s mission and unity in which the diversity of charisms and min-

istries is expressed. The Holy Spirit equips the church institutionally and

charismatically for her upbuilding, with leadership structures that have

been established by Christ, and through the Spirit’s work among believers

in spontaneous and unpredictable ways. The institutional and charismatic

differences provide a healthy tension for the church.

– Discussion is offered for three prominent charisms: prophecy, healing, and

discernment. Biblical justification and historical reflection are provided for

each charism before the place of the charism in the life of the church is


– Finally, the report addresses the role of pastoral oversight in the exercise

of charisms, noting different emphases for Catholics who believe that the

charisms are for the whole people of God but subject to the oversight of the

church’s shepherds and the rule of faith, and for Pentecostals who hold that

responsibility for the exercise of charisms resides with individual believers

in the faith community that provides their exercise accountability. The full report is considered a study document for Catholics and Pentecostals for further exploration. It can be found at pontifical_councils/chrstuni/pentecostals/rc_pc_chrstuni_doc_2011‑2015_do ‑not‑quench‑the‑spirit_en.html

The idea for publishing reflections on “Do Not Quench the Spirit” stemmed from a conversation with Cecil M. Robeck, the pentecostal co-chair for the dia- logue. The intent was to invite papers from a global and denominational cross section. Each continent is represented here in some way or another. Although we had commitments from West African and African American scholars, re- grettably these papers did not materialize. Likewise, we preferred to have more denominations and ethnicities represented as well, but this too did not materi- alize. In the end, we extended twenty invitations for submissions, obtained ten commitments from a diverse cross section, received seven submissions (one paper was later withdrawn), for a total of six reflections to be published here.

Nevertheless, the following reflections offer insight, analysis, and requests for clarification, and ask important questions. They are offered from a range of scholars in the Roman Catholic, Dutch Reformed, Brazilian Methodist, Church of God (Cleveland,TN), Assemblies of God, and Australian Christian Churches. We include them here with the hope that they offer further venues for theolog- ical study and dialogue between Catholics and Pentecostals as well as other denominational entities concerned with the unity of the church.

Peter Althouseand Robby Waddell

Pneuma 41 (2019) 501–502


Be first to comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.