Contemporary Pentecostal Christianity: Interpretations from an African Context

By Hocken, Peter | International Bulletin of Mission Research, April 2014 | Go to article overview

Contemporary Pentecostal Christianity: Interpretations from an African Context


Hocken, Peter, International Bulletin of Mission Research


Contemporary Pentecostal Christianity: Interpretations from an African Context.

By J. Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu. Oxford: Regnum Books International, 2013. Pp. 194. Paperback 26.99 [pounds sterling] /$26.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

In this study J. Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu provides an excellent introduction to the latest waves of Pentecostalism in West Africa. Each chapter--with one notable exception--examines a key characteristic of this new Pentecostalism. But unlike the arrangement familiar from treatises on systematics, Asamoah-Gyadu organizes his presentation by praxis, not according to doctrine or theology. This method allows him to do full justice to the strongly experiential and results-oriented faith of the new Pentecostals, in which power, victory over evil spirits, and prosperity are essential elements. These chapters single out key aspects and emphases of the new Ghanaian Pentecostalism for description and initial analysis.

After a first chapter on Spirit-filled Christianity, the author examines worship as experience (chap. 2), prayer strategies (chap. 3), ecclesiology, in effect the democratization of charisma that produces a new vision of church (chap. 4), giving and tithing (chap. 5), the concept and practice of anointing (chap. 7), Holy Communion (chap. 8), and the Bible (chap. 9). In all these chapters, Asamoah-Gyadu illustrates distinctive emphases, concerns, and practices, doing so from preaching, books, events, and the experience of believers, all the while noting the points of resonance with elements of traditional African religion. Noteworthy is the foundational character of dynamic worship: "Worship, as a continuous experience in the anointing of the Holy Spirit is ... the heartbeat of Pentecostal Christianity" (20). But distinctively, "in an African context, worship is also an engagement with the supernatural world of inanimate beings and ancestors" (25). In all these areas, the pioneer pastors have manifested a remarkable creativity as they have drawn from the Scriptures, their African heritage, and (perhaps least) the missionary inheritance to fashion a distinctively new and dynamic expression of Christian faith. Asamoah-Gyadu notes, "In their worship, ecclesiology, modes of incorporation into church community, and interpretation of the Bible, the new Pentecostals have truly reinvented Protestant Christianity in many ways" (159).

Asamoah-Gyadu's strength lies in his closeness to the subject matter and his attention to fine detail. For example, his observations on the distinctive role played by glossolalia in this African Pentecostalism could help to reinvigorate this gift more widely in the Pentecostal and charismatic movements and could cause it to be given greater attention in Pentecostal theology (see pp. 26-28, 48-51). In the African context, where prayer is typically a matter of wrestling against the powers of darkness, praying in the Spirit (tongues) is a prayer of power, of confident assertion of the lordship of Jesus, who saves and delivers now. In these milieus, speaking in tongues is not a distinctive doctrine but a distinguishing practice.

The author demonstrates a clear connection between these African Pentecostal emphases and the precariousness of life in a world of poverty and unstable government. He sees the focus on blessing, success, and prosperity as a new and Christian expression of the role of the African religion as strategies for survival. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Contemporary Pentecostal Christianity: Interpretations from an African Context
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.