WHAT is PENTECOSTAL THEOLOGY?

WHAT is PENTECOSTAL THEOLOGY?
Posted by in Facebook's Pentecostal Theology Group View the Original Post

What is Pentecostal Theology? Now that there are millions of pentecostals worldwide and who serve the Lord under many different political systems as well as under several economic systems; it seems to me that pentecostal theology is as big as the world itself and as wide as the thousands of issues that mankind must face as he tries to build the kingdom of God on earth. We might ask why are so many pentecostals against universal health care, when Jesus healed all those that were sick. Why haven’t we found a way to bring healing to a larger number of people? When I worked in the Oral Roberts healing meetings there was no price put on healing nor a prerequisite.The next time you are in a group of pentecostals; listen and see if you hear any vision for the local church or the local community or if there is a concept of the common good which seemed to be expressed often by our Lord. See if anyone has building blocks to build or notice if there are only wrecking bars in their hands?

62 Comments

  • Reply January 18, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    Ana-Maria your research questions need to start with this one – Pentecostalism or Classical Pentecostalism is a renewal movement within Protestant Christianity that places special emphasis on a direct personal experience of God through baptism with the Holy Spirit. The term Pentecostal is derived from Pentecost, the Greek name for the Jewish Feast of Weeks.

    • Reply January 18, 2019

      Ana-Maria Plus Michael

      Troy, you are complicating things. Just stop this, return to the original post and ponder the question about the decline of premillenialism. In an academic work, such definition would be necessary. But here it is not.

    • Reply January 18, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      No, not really. As you see your OP has deviated in establishing exactly that – what Pentecostal eschatology is It is what your research lacks for the moment and it will only help you research to establish this question as a starting point And no – there is no decline of premillenialism among Pentecostalism This is simply a false statement!

    • Reply January 19, 2019

      Angel Ruiz

      Ana-Maria Plus Michael the only place I can find a decline of Premillenialism in Pentecostal Theology is in the Neo Pentecostals… Most Neo Pentecostalism come from traditional churches becoming charismatic but not abandoning there former non Pentecostal theology…

    • Reply January 19, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      Thank you very much Angel Ruiz It’s the reformed link I already mentioned as theological background ALSO no such think in ANY AG branches in UK, Australia or anywhere in the world fellowship I find the very notion misleading and have posted the research to back it up straight from the England/Ireland AG – Donald Gee Research center. Will post proper responses from my UK colleagues in due time as well

  • Reply January 18, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    The mere suggestion that there is such a thing as “Pentecostal theology” is likely to encounter one of several responses: curiosity by those who believe that the history of Christian thought since the twentieth century cannot be written without a discussion of the Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements but wonder how to articulate such an account, apprehension by those who fear that a systematic theological account might overshadow the spiritual emphasis of the Pentecostal movement, reluctance by those who anticipate that a single account of Pentecostal theology would conceal the significant diversity of the global movement, disbelief by those who doubt that Pentecostals can contribute significantly to the theological agenda, or disapproval by those who think that Pentecostalism is not a theological tradition in its own right. What these reactions share in common is their observation of the absence of a grounding theological narrative and theological symbol to identify and distinguish Pentecostal theology. The majority of recent constructive proposals of Pentecostal theology are programmatic and phenomenological; the intention is to provide principles of a theological narrative yet often without telling the Pentecostal story. As a result, a comprehensive narrative for Pentecostal theology is missing. In order to address this lacuna, I suggest a modest hypothesis: Pentecost is the core theological symbol of Pentecostal theology, and its theological narrative is the full gospel.

    • Reply January 20, 2019

      Tom Torbeyns

      Thank you. 🙂 By my knowledge it’s the only one in Belgium… 🙂

    • Reply January 20, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      maybe even in EU, UK, Africa and so on

    • Reply January 21, 2019

      Ana-Maria Plus Michael

      I totally concur, just want to add that “recent constructive proposals of Pentecostal theology” are quite diverse. We still find ourselves within that collision of the old school conservative Pentecostalism and postliberal Pentecostalism. Both of these groups are claiming the historical “Full Gospel” core in one way or another.

    • Reply January 21, 2019

      Tom Torbeyns

      Interesting take… 🙂

    • Reply January 22, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      cant claim historical “Full Gospel” if you dropped half of it 🙂 Nelson Banuchi

    • Reply January 22, 2019

      Nelson Banuchi

      Troy Day If you include premillennialism, I’m pretty sure that it is not essential to what is the “full” Gospel; the return of Christ is, however it occurs, essential doctrine, but not specifically the doctrine of premillennialism.

    • Reply January 22, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      it was essential enough to early Pentecostals and not just pre-mil but pre-Trib specifically

    • Reply January 22, 2019

      Nelson Banuchi

      Troy Day, I can only say confidently that they were wrong to include such doctrinal views as pre-mil/pre-Trib as part-and-parcel of the Gospel; they are not.

      Other than that, I’m not a scholar on Pentecostalism (although I have predominantly attended AG churches (i.e. Brooklyn Tabernacle; Christ Tabernacle), I’m pretty much a novice on the issue of Pentecostal history and it’s doctrinal formation, so I’ll concede further argument to your view.

    • Reply January 22, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      you cant say they were wrong in any way shape or form because them including that basically formed our Pentecostal doctrine – it is a formative factor one cannot simply disregard and still remain Pentecostal at the same time

    • Reply January 22, 2019

      Nelson Banuchi

      Troy Day I’m only saying that they were wrong to include it as part-and-parcel of what the “full” Gospel entails. I’ve no problem in including it as a belief held by Pentecostals, but, although Pentecostals may feel that “one cannot simply disregard and still remain Pentecostal at the same time,” I just personally think that’s the wrong way to approach the issue of what-is/what-is-not Pentecostal; and to suggest that one cannot be Pentecostal holding to all the doctrines of Pentecostalism except pre-mil/pre-Trib is, imo, also he wrong approach.

      Just because its history doesn’t make the approach correct.

      Now, I don’t want this to be an argument between us; it’s just my personal opinion. But to ease your mind, I don’t consider myself Pentecostal, but I do lean predominantly to Pentecostalism to one degree or another, excepting I don’t believe at all (never did) in the pre-mil/pre-Trib teaching.

      But if someone were to ask me if I were Pentecostal, I would say, “Yes,” by virtue of my leaning towards it doctrinal beliefs regarding Spirit baptism as a 2nd experience and the impartation and practice gifts of the Spirit today as in the NT.

      To be more accurate, I would identify myself as an Arminian Pentecostal (although I prefer to be identified as “Christian,” =Christ-follower, more than anything else).

    • Reply January 22, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      they were not wrong to include cause this is what they believed; they may have been wrong theologically (which I dont think they were) but how many grass-root starter movements are have wrong places in their theology – we all learn as we grow

    • Reply January 22, 2019

      Nelson Banuchi

      Troy Day I agree. And, I guess I should correct myself to say that it can be said that one denying premillennial doctrine is not a Pentecostal as long as that is not to say they are not Christian.

      However, in any case, I still don’t see that as discounting one’s self-identification as Pentecostal since the primary distinctive and essence of Pentecostalism is the baptism of the Spirit with the empowerment of the Spirit to exercise the gifts, especially tongues (if not the predominant or necessary manifestation, at least, the more obvious).

      Again, I’m not knowledgable about Pentecostal theology, so any corrections and insights are welcome and helpful.

  • Reply January 19, 2019

    Angelo World Tiger

    Yes, many comments are making alot of sense about pentecostalism movement of faith where the Romans taking the word of King of God as their own private business. Everyone has right to have a direct contact with God:
    his/her creator.

  • Reply January 19, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    yalls take? Terry Wiles Rico Hero Nelson Banuchi Miguel Alvarez Angel Ruiz Jared Cheshire Daniel J Hesse

    • Reply January 19, 2019

      Jared Cheshire

      I couldn’t read the article.

    • Reply January 19, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      no article just a discussion – read the comments

    • Reply January 20, 2019

      Nelson Banuchi

      Pentecostal theology is that theology that of orthodox beliefs, which include the continuation of the gifts of the Spirit as demonstrated specifically in Acts and described in certain NT epistles. Although the practice of the Spirit’s gifts have been in practice, in waning degrees throughout NT Church history, the modern outpouring and revelation of the pentecostal gifts gained wide practice, attention and influence in the 1906 Asuza Street revival, from which all Pentecostal denominations and the even the Charismatic movement have their origin.

      Is this accurate, Troy Day?

    • Reply January 20, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      sounds good BUT I dont believe to this moment we have defined PT just yet. Just like post-modernism evolves Hence I attempted to point out to Ana-Maria Plus Michael that a working definition is needed before one comes out and makes a claim that something is decreasing Especially when claims are made in PT group about PTheology to people who have been doing theology all their lives and especially about AG not being preMil before some of us who are 3 4 and 5 generations AG ministers who have ministered globally and our own Terry Wiles who as a AG pastor authored some of the very documents shaping our denomination

      As to PT I have a lecture of 2 comparisons I did for a larger panel discussion a few years back I could post it if you would like to compare but the public view you shared is about right for me

    • Reply January 20, 2019

      Nelson Banuchi

      Troy Day Would love to read the lectures. You can PM them to me if you rather do that or pots it here…

    • Reply January 20, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      I will just post the highlights later on here

  • Reply January 21, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    Nelson Banuchi Sorry for the delayed response, but Sundays are busy
    Also, I rarely use or take notes so putting it on paper after all these years may be a challenge but here are just a few of the cliff-notes

    The work toward a definition of Pentecostal Theology is ongoing

    Dr. FAUPEL member of this group first defined the FULL everlasting GOSPEL as seen by early Pentecostals

    1) justification by faith in Christ;
    2) sanctification as a second definite work of grace;
    3) healing of the body through the atoning work of Christ;
    4) the pre-millennial return of Christ; and
    5) the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking of unknown tongues.

    I still hold that if you don’t uphold ALL these 5 thou art NOT a Pentecostal believer

    Harvey Cox assuming information from his Latin America missional studies, first gave us the triangular formula of primal speech – tongues, primal piety – holiness and primal hope – eschatology (Fire from Heaven). As a baptist studying Latin American Pentecostalism his terms are somewhat Catholic and do not match our vocabulary but still spot on.

    One of his Pentecostal students later on (around 2001) defined Pentecostal Theology adding persecution / suffering — More specifically, after explaining WHY and HOW the Wesleyan quadrilateral does not fully fit Pentecostal formation, he redefined the theological praxis AS prayer, power and persecution

    Finally, another member of our group, perhaps even sparked by our group, just recently wrote a return to the previous claim that Pentecost is the core theological symbol of Pentecostal theology, and its theological narrative is the full gospel. He went on to state that

    “Pentecostal theology is an invitation to the altar, and the altar is an invitation to the full gospel, and the full gospel is an invitation to Pentecost.”

    http://www.pentecostaltheology.com/what-is-a-full-gospel/

    • Reply January 21, 2019

      Ana-Maria Plus Michael

      If someone doesn’t expect “sanctification as a second definite work of grace”, she is not a Pentecostal? That is what you think? (Just asking…)

    • Reply January 21, 2019

      Nelson Banuchi

      I’m not at all a Pentecostal scholar but I would think #’s 2,3, & 5 on your list are distinctive of Pentecostal Theology (PT), predominated (but not limited to) speaking in tongues, especially as the initial experience and necessary evidence of baptism in the Spirit.

      #’s 1 & 4 are non-essentials and I don’t think they are distinctive of PT.

    • Reply January 21, 2019

      Ana-Maria Plus Michael

      Nelson Banuchi It is true that the very early Pentecostals, such as Parham and Seymour, were holiness preachers. But after the “Finished Work” controversy and preaching crusades of W. Durham in ~1910-1912 the sanctification experience was absorbed into justification and extremely high numbers of Pentecostals have abandoned the holiness teaching.

      Would you really say that #2 is a Pentecostal *distinctive*, i.e. something that makes you Pentecostal, not just an option of some subgroup? (E.g. snake handling is a PT option, not a PT distinctive. I am not a snake handler btw.) This would be kind of challenging to me. I grew up in very conservative Pentecostal conditions in Central Europe. Holiness in the sense of moral purity was by all means practically encouraged, but I’ve never heard anyone here holding this Wesleyan belief. On the contrary, “perfectionism” was rather frowned upon. It was a surprise for me earlier in my life to learn about the very existence of Holiness Pentecostals.

    • Reply January 21, 2019

      Nelson Banuchi

      Troy Day: Coincidently, I just now started reading “Pentecostal Theology: A Theology of Encounter,” by Keith Warrington.

      In his intro, he makes the case that it is hard to pin down what is Pentecostalism, it being so multi-dimensional and it’s adherents widely disseminated in the world.

      But he does seem to imply that one common denominator within all the various Pentecostal groups and theologies is experiencing God. As he states, “That which is central to [Pentecostal] faith and practice are the concepts of encounter”; and quoting Karkkainen: “the essence of Pentecostalism can hardly be captured by any theological formulation; spirituality and spiritual experience is primary.”

      If they are here saying that the one distinctive of Pentecostalism is an experiential encounter with God, I tend to agree.

      Your thoughts?

      Btw, thanks for the info from your previous comment. Much appreciated.

    • Reply January 21, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      yes Ana-Maria Plus Michael early Pentecostals would have said you are not Pentecostal if you were not entirely sanctified Dr. Melvin Harter may attest to that as well

    • Reply January 22, 2019

      Ana-Maria Plus Michael

      Troy Day Well yes, I agree. But Dr. William Faupel, whom you quote, describes in The Everlasting Gospel (1996) how smoothly and rapidly many Pentecostals deserted to the Finished Work camp. He even suggests that hadn’t Durham died so suddenly in 1912, his message would reach much further into the holiness camp. This fast change of mind makes me think that holiness teaching never really was part of the soul of Pentecostalism.

  • Reply January 21, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    Nelson Banuchi I dont wanna hi jack yalls conversation BUT do you have any questions or comments to what I wrote from my lecture? Thanks

    • Reply January 21, 2019

      Nelson Banuchi

      Reading your lecture-notes, from Dr. Faupel’s list, I don’t think #1 and #2 define one as Pentecostal since these may be held by non-pentecostal denominations. #4 is a non-essential doctrine that, also, many Christian who are not Pentecostal uphold.

      I think #3 and #5 (although there were a few certain Christians who held these beliefs before 1906), are distinctive of Pentecostalism; and among these two distinctives, I would add what Warrington seems to have suggest, that is, the emphasis of encountering a direct experience of God.

      I tend to think that anyone who holds #1-3,5, can be defined as Pentecostal, at least, if not as in their denomination, yet in the tendency of their theological thinking, at least.

      And I would tend to agree that an invitation to the altar is the invitation to experience Pentecost (i.e. the “full Gospel”).

    • Reply January 21, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      Faupel described early pentecostal doctrine – historical view not his own SO agree or disagree these are the facts 🙂 We therefore cannot say of ANY of them being non-esential to Pentecostalism because they were ALL in ints foundation and formed our theology http://www.pentecostaltheology.com/what-is-meant-by-the-term-full-gospel-in-pentecostal-theology/

    • Reply January 22, 2019

      Ana-Maria Plus Michael

      Troy Day I kind of concur with this reasoning… but is really any belief that was held by early Pentecostals essential to Pentecostalism? Some of their beliefs were really awkward and we would have hard time adopting them today. See anglo-israelitism, xenolalia, rejecting medicine, …

  • Reply January 21, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    What about the other 3 views Nelson Banuchi

    • Reply January 22, 2019

      Nelson Banuchi

      Troy Day, with respect to the other three views, I have no problem with them and agree they would identify what is Pentecostal theology.

      But I especially like Kissinger’s last remark: “Yes, let’s not forget the sanctification which some denominations have so easily ‘Left Behind’…”

      ?

    • Reply January 22, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      interesting – I have problem with at least one 🙂

    • Reply January 22, 2019

      Nelson Banuchi

      Troy Day Which one is that?

    • Reply January 22, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      I rather not say out of too much respect 🙂 but let me just state briefly that when another faith group – anglican, methodist, baptist or otherwise starts pressing their paradigm on our Pentecostal Theology we always end up with problems

  • Reply January 21, 2019

    Michelle Neff

    I believe that the ministry of the Holy.ghost id central to pentecostal theology. It’s yielding to the will.of the underlying holy spirit. I do not know what knd of 20.00 word you men will put on it. In a nutshell that’s the whole thing!

    • Reply January 22, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      not sure what 2000 word you are talking about either W. Faupel defined Full Gospel within the doctrinal themes of:
      1) justification by faith in Christ;
      2) sanctification as a second definite work of grace;
      3) healing of the body through the atoning work of Christ;
      4) the pre-millennial return of Christ; and
      5) the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking of unknown tongues. http://www.pentecostaltheology.com/what-is-a-full-gospel/

  • Reply January 22, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    Ana-Maria Plus Michael just for your once again PLS dont lose focus

    For the historical use of AoG truths in the UK see

    Kay, William K. (1989) A history of British Assemblies of
    God. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham, p330

    Garrard, David J. (2003), ‘The Importance of Keeping Premillennial Rider in any Statement of Faith regarding the Second Corning of Christ’, A Discussion Paper sub to the General Council of the Assemblies of God, 1 Donald Gee Centre, Mattersey Hall, nr. Doncaster. United Kingdom

    Hyde, Bob (2002), ‘Do Pentecostals Need to Be Premillennial?’ A Discussion Paper submitted to tb General Council of the Assemblies of God, The Do Gee Centre, Mattersey Hall, nr. Doncaster. United Kingdom

    Pelts, David (2001), Letter to the Executive Council of Assemblies of God, concerning a proposal to revise 10, The Donald Gee Centre, Mattersey Hall, nr. Doncaster. United Kingdom

    • Reply January 22, 2019

      Tom Torbeyns

      Wait not add Craig S. Keener who holds the same view as I do?

    • Reply January 22, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      which view would that be? He is not AG and was not part of the said forum, as far as I was able to check

  • Reply January 25, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    we tried to define robust here 🙂 Angel Ruiz

  • Reply August 20, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    TELL us Mike Partyka what does your church teach

    • Reply August 20, 2019

      Mike Partyka

      The Bible is the word of God. From the article you posted you are stating there is no straight forward Pentecostal Theology…… Can one have different eschatology views and still be Pentecostal? Do I have to speak in tongues to be saved ? Oneness ? Or will you respond with another question?

    • Reply August 20, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      Mike Partyka I am not the author of the article You asked the initial question – so tell us what is it?

  • Reply August 20, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    tell us then Philip Williams

    • Reply August 20, 2019

      Philip Williams

      Troy Day it’s becoming Babylon. That’s what I told Harvey Cox. Not fire from Heaven but earthly fires.

    • Reply August 21, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      Philip Williams I was just gonna mention him under the NAR topic On a SAT morning many years ago he opened HDL just for me on a non working day We ascended to the top floor where his office was and as he looked at my resume he said – I once was an evangelist too Then he looked up and said – they are snobs here, they will never accept you 🙂 anyhow…

      Wagner simply repeated with NAR what Cox had done with his Secular city and Fire from heaven He was hoping to recreate the boom around Pentecostalism with a bit of spice It worked for a while The same thing was done a few years back by one Ed Stedzer with much less success before he retired from LifeWay before it collapsed – so life goes on

    • Reply August 21, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      Philip Williams I was just gonna mention him under the NAR topic On a SAT morning many years ago he opened HDL just for me on a non working day We ascended to the top floor where his office was and as he looked at my resume he said – I once was an evangelist too Then he looked up and said – they are snobs here, they will never accept you 🙂 anyhow…

      Wagner simply repeated with NAR what Cox had done with his Secular city and Fire from heaven He was hoping to recreate the boom around Pentecostalism with a bit of spice It worked for a while The same thing was done a few years back by one Ed Stedzer with much less success before he retired from LifeWay before it collapsed – so life goes on

  • Reply December 2, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    got to love them younger fellers just gotten a BA from an online school – no punt intended – and already coming to this group teaching what is Pentecostalism; and most of them dont even speak in tongues Oh well the world we have come up to nowadays…

  • Reply December 2, 2019

    J.D. King

    I think that it might be relevant to discuss both the boundaries of Pentecostal identity as well as the scope of the movement’s theology. I was raised Classical Pentecostal and attended a Pentecostal Bible College. I speak in tongues and believe that it is the standing sign of Spirit-baptism. Yet, I am not Premillennial. Therefore, many would question my Pentecostal credentials and identity. Does one have to be a futurist to be a Pentecostal? Frankly, some are more gracious to Oness adherents than me.

  • Reply December 2, 2019

    Louise Cummings

    Do they believe in Him. If so they need to pray until they are filled.

  • Reply December 2, 2019

    Louise Cummings

    Many people doesn’t believe in Premillennialism. But the Bible said when He, The Holy Ghost has come, will guides our into all truths and righteousness. Pray and study The Word. Ask the Lord to open your eyes to see the truth.on this subject.

  • Reply December 2, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    there is quite a few pentecostal theologians that are not pre-mil anymore J.D. King I dont think this is denying our roots but more of rethinking our theology Now, I do have a problem with calvin’s postmil and augustine’s a-mil but this is their reformers/catholic area of eschatology When we come to kingdom-now being over-posed on classical Pentecostal eschatology I draw the line but this is just me after all Others have the say in this as well

  • Reply December 2, 2019

    George Hartwell

    My thesis is that there is a divide between Pentecostal theology and the life of the Spirit that was present at Azusa Street.

  • Reply December 2, 2019

    Mike Partyka

    More of a Pentecostal experience rather than theology. Eschatology views are more than likely negotiable and yet to see someone show exactly what Pentecostal theology is. UPC has flaws and so does the AOG…..

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