From Pentecost to the Triune God: A Pentecostal Trinitarian Theology

By Steven M. Studebaker | Go to book overview

Introduction

“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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From Pentecost to the Triune God: A Pentecostal Trinitarian Theology
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Pentecostal Manifestos i
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments viii
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - A Pentecostal Approach to the Trinity 11
  • 2 - The Holy Spirit and the Trinity 53
  • 3 - Eastern and Western Trinitarian Theology 101
  • 4 - Reformed Evangelical Trinitarian Theology 147
  • 5 - Charismatic Trinitarian Theology 187
  • 6 - The Spirit of Pentecost and Theology of Religions 208
  • 7 - The Spirit of Pentecost and Creation 240
  • Epilogue 269
  • Index of Names 271
  • Index of Subjects 275
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