From Pentecost to the Triune God: A Pentecostal Trinitarian Theology

From Pentecost to the Triune God: A Pentecostal Trinitarian Theology

From Pentecost to the Triune God: A Pentecostal Trinitarian Theology

From Pentecost to the Triune God: A Pentecostal Trinitarian Theology

Synopsis

In From Pentecost to the Triune God Steven Studebaker puts forth a provocative Pentecostal Trinitarian theology, arguing that the Holy Spirit completes the fellowship of the triune God and therefore shapes the identities of the Father and the Son.

The Holy Spirit, Studebaker maintains, is not simply a passive end-product of a procession from the Father and Son but, rather, a dynamic person who plays an active role in the Trinity and a constitutional, consummational role in the history of redemption.

In the course of his study, Studebaker shows the theological yield of the Pentecostal experience of the Holy Spirit and uncovers the biblical narratives of the Spirit from creation to Pentecost. A constructive and ecumenical contribution to Trinitarian theology, From Pentecost to the Triune God also engages major historical and contemporary figures such as Augustine, the Cappadocians, Weinandy, and Zizioulas, as well as representatives from the evangelical and charismatic traditions.

Finally, Studebaker applies his Pentecostal Trinitarian theology to the theology of religions and creation care, proposing that Christians embrace an inclusive posture toward people of other religious traditions and have an earth orientation that sees creation care as Christian formation.

Excerpt

“Pentecostalism is not a theological tradition, but a religious movement,” one of my professors told me when I revealed that Pentecostal theology was a long-term research agenda. Though made without condescension, the comment left me dispirited. in time, however, it spurred me on to be part of the constructive effort in Pentecostal theology. Calling it a religious movement meant that Pentecostalism is about spiritual experience, an opinion many Pentecostal scholars share. That view is true but irrelevant. All Christian movements are about experience of some kind or another. the religious experience of Catholic Christians is sacramental — of Pentecostals, charismatic. Exuberant religious experience characterizes Pentecostalism, but other Christian movements are no less about a certain kind of religious experience. My professor’s comment also implied a disparity between religious experience and theology. But the distinction between them, though helpful for distinguishing theological sources, masks their inseparable relationship.

I also became intrigued with Trinitarian theology and pneumatology during my doctoral studies, but it had little to do with my background in Pentecostalism. Jonathan Edwards, an eighteenth-century Puritan Calvinist, and David Coffey, a contemporary Neo-Scholastic Catholic theologian, introduced me to the richness of the doctrine of the Trinity. D. Lyle Dabney, an exile from Pentecostalism and now a Wesleyan theologian, led me to pneumatology. Why, as a Pentecostal, had these areas of theology not captivated me? One could not be faulted for thinking that pneumatology is the central preoccupation of Pentecostal theology, and that the Trinity is but a small step away. But that is not the case. Moreover, the an-

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