What distinguishes the Pentecostal theology and denominations?

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Roger Wilkinson | PentecostalTheology.com


In your opinion what distinguishes the Pentecostal theology and denomination as being more correct and therefore the church to attend rather than the church down the road?

Leah M Grier-Lee [06/30/2015 8:30 PM]
I personally never found it to be more correct than any other denomination it was just how I was raised. I don’t have a problem attending any bible teaching & bible believing church that is trying to prepare ppl to be disciples of Jesus Christ

Vernon Soles [06/30/2015 8:53 PM]
I hadn’t thought about it today, give me your thoughts. Thanks

John Ruffle [07/01/2015 1:04 AM]
You’ve asked 2 questions in one. The theology of the Spirit belongs to the whole Church, while denomonations are the aftershocks of the Reformation. It was necessary that a ‘movement’ arose at the turn if the 20th century that focused on returning the GFTS to the Church, but you can’t regulate Holy Fire. That’s the difference between a denomination and a movement.

John Ruffle [07/01/2015 9:39 AM]
Let’s get a bit more fire under Roger Wilkinson’s post; it’s a good question. The thing is, are we willing to have our paradigms and comfort zones challenged? And when it comes to “professional” ministry (God help us all!) then are we willing to loose our livelihoods in the quest of true New Testament Church? Can we devest of al our vested interests?

Barry G. Carpenter [07/01/2015 6:36 PM]
When you say “Pentecostal Theology”- is it coming from systematic theology as a starting place? What i am trying to ask is: is it “Pentecostalism” that determines theology or is it theology that makes one “Pentecostal”? And how is “Pentecostal Theology” distinct from any other? Thank you.

Charles Page [07/01/2015 6:49 PM]
excellent discussion!!!

Charles Page [07/01/2015 6:50 PM]
Jesus ask the rich young ruler to divest himself of all accumulated wealth(and all associated with that) and follow him.

John Kissinger [07/01/2015 7:16 PM]
Then you have to define what exactly is “systematic theology.” If it means simply reformed Calvinistic, the answer is probably NO!

Charles Page [07/01/2015 7:28 PM]
Finney wrote a systematic Theology so all ST need to be discarded.

Charles Page [07/01/2015 7:30 PM]
actually that ain’t a bad idea! it should be Biblical Theology.

John Kissinger [07/01/2015 7:33 PM]
We started with Calvin’s Institutes (or even may be Melenchton’s Locci). Then Arminius came in the picture then Wesley after him. By the time Parham and Azusa Str. came around to state theology may have been nothing left from Calvin. I am trying to think of even one stone unturned but will need some time to find it with the help of Rick Wadholm Jr

Charles Page [07/01/2015 7:39 PM]
personally I refer often to the RCC as a base resource. Chronologically you get the depth of historical orthodoxy. Naturally the KJV is the final authority and all others of all sorts provide some illumination.

Barry G. Carpenter [07/01/2015 7:42 PM]
Why make assumptions on my question? Do you always assume evil of everyone? I never mentioned Calvinism- you bring it up as a reaction.

Barry G. Carpenter [07/01/2015 7:42 PM]

John Kissinger [07/01/2015 7:45 PM]
You are correct. Pentecostals react against man made creeds!

Barry G. Carpenter [07/01/2015 7:49 PM]
Sir/ma’am: I said systematic theology- you are bringing things (out of what seems like an allergic reaction) into the conversation. How is this any different than say a Fundamental Baptist reacting to his perception of Pentecostals and not allowing them to speak for themselves or even hearing what they are saying?

John Kissinger [07/01/2015 7:51 PM]
Just answering your first question in a brief historical manner, which was: “When you say “Pentecostal Theology”- is it coming from systematic theology as a starting place?”

Barry G. Carpenter [07/01/2015 7:52 PM]
Ok, we’ve est. you don’t accept man-made creeds and you reject Calvinism..K,…has nothing to do with the question. Maybe there is a misunderstanding as to what systematic theology is?

Barry G. Carpenter [07/01/2015 7:54 PM]
Why do you seem so defensive????

John Kissinger [07/01/2015 8:03 PM]
Simply answering your question by referencing the historical presupposition of Charles Page religious tradition. It is commonly known that “They agreed to free themselves from man-made creeds” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_God_(Cleveland,_Tennessee)

Barry G. Carpenter [07/01/2015 8:06 PM]
Let’s make I deal please: I will not assume you are like anyone else but have a brain and are able to think for yourself. Can you extend the same courtesy to me? I have no guile in my heart & I assume that the people on the page do not either. I assume you are sincere unless you prove me otherwise. I pray you will do the same.

Roger Wilkinson [07/01/2015 8:27 PM]
Interesting, myself reformed? Definitely not, think for myself, sort of, Holy Spirit guidance definite!

Jon Sellers [07/02/2015 3:18 AM]
Every sermon, every devotional, every prayer is sourced out of personal understanding (and hopefully enlightened by scripture). As such it is theology. A good systematic theology is one that seeks to bring together the complete teaching of the scriptures on any given subject. So the subjects covered tend to be the big picture items: God, Christ, salvation, eschatology, etc. to name just a few.

I can’t speak for the admins of this page, but when I think of Pentecostal theology, I am thinking of the broader Pentecostal movement that is informed by an ever increasing level of scholarship in the study of scripture, but also seeks to give Pneumatology its rightful place in the theological orbit, as well as bringing forth the best of the Pentecostal traditions in which that theology is found.

In my perspective, every systematic theology is shaped by the tradition in which it is written. Even those who eschew systematic theology and creeds actually have their own versions, but they may be more ad hoc than systematic.

Typically a Pentecostal theology is going to be more reflective of the theological traditions coming down from Arminius and Wesley than Calvin or the Reformed traditions. A good theologian will draw upon the insights of those who have gone before, but will not be slavishly devoted to simply repeating them, nor afraid to disagree with certain convictions of earlier writers. Why write a new systematic theology unless you have some new insights and improvements to offer over what is already available?

Is the Pentecostal experience more influential than theological reflection? I think that is a subjective matter. For some individuals, their experience in Christ, and the Holy Spirit, their personal insights from scripture and prayer are the most influential in shaping their understanding. They may never read or study a theological work.
Others may combine both their theological reading with their own insights from scripture and prayer. I tend to be very eclectic. If truth is offered I don’t want to reject it out of simple bias.

But experience does help us understand scripture. When B.B. Warfield wrote his book, Counterfeit Miracles, his own lack of experience of miracles or charismata made it hard for him to see how the claims of his day could be true. Also, his lack of an experiential frame of reference made it impossible for him to understand the texts regarding the gifts of the Spirit. So he exegeted and wrote from his understanding and experience.

A person who has experienced the charismata and seen miracles would write from a wholly different perspective and would relate much more closely to those texts that speak of those things.

The best theology comes from both. As John said in his letter,
“What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life–and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us–…” 1 John 1:1,2

John Kissinger [07/03/2015 7:48 AM]
Barry G. Carpenter Sorry for the delay to answer to your questions: is it “Pentecostalism” that determines theology or is it theology that makes one “Pentecostal”? – the answer is: YES!

Barry G. Carpenter [07/03/2015 8:09 AM]
I appreciate your thoughts brothers. I like what Warfield said to define systematic theology: We study the Bible to get our doctrines- then we exegetic to solve any issues and then we come out (hopefully) with a systematized theology. I define (and I just offer this not because I think it is better than anyone elses but just because I think it is simple) as: “holding all Scripture as equally inspired, true and authoritative.” I am not sure if there was anything going on in Warfield’s day (about 1850-1920) that would have challenged his cessationism. Thank you for the answer : but I don’t know what you mean re: Pentecostalism or systematic theology. Where is your starting place? Actually (if we can stop throwing stones long enough) I am on “your side” re: non-cessationism and I would like to see a good systematic come out that could rectify the apparent contradictions of Scripture alone, false predicitions, etc. I tried to present these ideas in a “reformed baptist” forum but just like, I was branded before I could even discuss the issue and pushed aside.

John Kissinger [07/03/2015 8:23 AM]
Studying God is like studying sharks. At one point you have to realize the sharks are studying you… #SharkWeek

Ed Brewer [07/03/2015 9:42 AM]
Barry G. Carpenter – interesting that you bring BBW into a discussion of Pentecostal theology. As has been most eloquently proven by the tenor of this little exchange itself, a discussion of ultimate right interpretation of the scripture with most Pentecostals is akin to trying to have tea with a hornet. I, for one, have always considered my own experience as simply a continuation of the salvific journey begun with my new birth. The term ‘pentecosalism’ is a relatively modern concoction often used in an attempt to emphasize a distinction purported to be a difference. In actuality it is more of a realization of the promise inherent in evangelicalism – that of a life transformed rather than just a philosophy embraced. Everything in the Kingdom is a reflection of man’s journey as much a his destination – every conclusion inevitably colored by experience as much as dogma. Is it just possible that a

Jon Ruthven [07/07/2015 1:27 AM]
This is an ABSRACT of an article I just finished. THIS is the difference between traditional Christian theology and a biblical charismatic theology …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….Barth’s dream of a Spirit-centered theology hints at the great disconnect between the New Testament portrayal of the mission and message of Jesus and the “gospel” of traditional Protestantism. This disconnect appeared as a result of the Reformers’ adoption of cessationism to undercut Papal authority, which rested, in part, on the idea of continuing revelation and miracle. The failure of both sides to understand the purpose of charismatic revelation F power as the central characteristic of the New Covenant, resulted in a misunderstanding of the mission of Jesus, the purpose of the cross, and the continuing commission of Christian disciples. In this, traditional theology significantly distorted the Christian message from that of Jesus and the New Testament witness—a gospel about Jesus rather than from Jesus.


  • Paul L. King
    Reply June 10, 2019

    Paul L. King

    Pretty good chart overall as a beginning point I would not agree with all of the characterizations, but most. It is a bit more complex than he characterizes, but he has simplified generally a complex issue.

    • Reply June 10, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      do you know which denomination settled where in the US – always fascinating why settled here or there

  • Jerome Herrick Weymouth

    I followed yor chart and as I have been since 1972–Assembly of God! Although I am currently independent.

    • Reply June 10, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      one is never truly independent you know

  • Isara Mo
    Reply June 10, 2019

    Isara Mo

    I usually don’t identify myself with any denomination since I came from OUTSIDE the mainstream but the One who guided me in my pursuit of truth connected me with these “Pentecostals” After a long personal study of the Scriptures I have found these “pentecostals” to be reminiscence of the Book of Acts first church …a modern day representation of the first apostolic movement…inspite of their many shortcomings, still the ” Pentecostals” almost have it right..

  • George Hartwell
    Reply June 10, 2019

    George Hartwell

    What all need is a deep and full revelation of Jesus and His mission for His congregation. Repentence for how we got lost. Restoration to living out more fully our calling.

    • Reply June 11, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      that is true but how do we do that and provide such in so many distinct denominational venues /

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