The Pneumatological Ekklesia: A Comparative and Constructive Work in Contemporary Ecclesiology

Modern theology has tended to fall, to varying degrees, into two spheres of thought: experiential-expressive and cognitive-propositional. [1] Both of these modes are forms of foundational epistemology. That is, they search for, and build their theologies upon, some type of unquestionable foundation. This can be a universal religious experience or concept, or a correspondent, propositional 'truth'. Either way, there is an inherent dependency upon empirical and/or rational faculties (both products of the Enlightenment) that are increasingly being questioned. In reaction to these lines of thought, anti-foundational theology developed. One of the predominant forms of this is postliberal theology, which has its roots at Yale Divinity School with George Lindbeck and Hans Frei. I will build my theological proposal upon this stream of thought, though not in direct correlation to it. [2]

While recognizing the more common usage of the term 'anti-foundational' in respect to theology, I have chosen the term non-foundational because I am not necessarily against foundations; that is, I am not denying their existence and/or validity. [3] Rather, I am trying to convey the sense that it may not be possible to know conclusively (i.e., scientifically) these foundations. Hence, my theology is not based on an empirically determined foundation; neither is it founded upon a denial of such a foundation, but on a faith choice brought about by membership in a religious community. On the other hand, the experiential nature of Pentecostalism has led me to claim both my religious experience of relationship to God, as well as the objective revelation found in the incarnated Christ, as 'foundations' for my God-speaking. Nevertheless, these 'foundations' are found only within the realm of faith. This realm of faith is not understood as a hermetically sealed entity, a commodity that is transferred from generation to generation in a sealed package. Neither is it a general, anthropological category that is existent in all of humanity. It is a way of life that exists in process, a process that consists of both progression and regression. It contains momentary decisions and affectional/dispositional development. When one has entered this faith-journey, one is in faith and growing in faith. [4] It is for this reason that at least some validity can be recognized in the cultural-linguistic proposal of Lindbeck. This cultural-linguistic approach is one framework for discussing faith and the choice of faith.

Lindbeck speaks of religious systems as being comparable to cultures or languages. These languages have their own rules, which he equates with doctrines. These rules govern the continuance and practice of the religion, though they are not static, eternal propositions. The degree to which a religion is faithful to its rules it is truthful, or coherent. The religion that is the most coherent is that religion that we could judge to be the most correspondent. [5] This does not deny the ability of other faith groups to contain some measure of correspondent truth, which is a key point of recognition that aligns with Lindbeck's goal of inter-religious dialogue. It does, however, acknowledge that everything that is believed and spoken is not correspondent to actual truth. Conversely, it also gives space for doctrines that are 'more than rules'. There is a grammar to the faith language that can be seen as correspondent to actual truth. [6]

It is my goal in this thesis to address one arena of the rules within the Christian faith while coming from the (un)specific perspective of Pentecostalism. [7] My arena of address will tend to blur the lines that have traditionally been drawn between ecclesiology and pneumatology, as well as eschatology. For what I am addressing is the role of the Holy Spirit within the church. This is not a denial that the Spirit is active throughout Creation and in other groups of people. [8] It is to say that there are specific ways in which the Spirit is at work in a greater or more prevalent way within the Christian ekklesia. Since I am addressing the issue of the church, I feel it would be appropriate to give at least a cursory description of what I envision the church to be.

Avery Dulles wrote a classic text on ecclesiology in 1974 wherein he described several distinct, yet overlapping, models of the church that were being proffered in the rich ecclesial time following Vatican II. In the expanded edition of 1987 he gives his own proposal. [9] Dulles presents five common models, the church as: institution, mystical communion, sacrament, herald and servant. He calls his proposal the community of disciples. Taking this work as a catapult, I would recognize that each of the models conform to specific aspects of the mission of the church. Certain models point more toward the internal mission (mystical communion, sacrament and institution), while the others are directed more toward the external mission (servant and herald). All of the models have an aspect of ontology to them, but the church as mystical communion seems to be more directed toward the church's being, rather than doing. My pneumatological ecclesiology cuts across the Dulles schemata. In fact, I would say that Pentecostalism realigns ecclesiology, even as it does in most other arenas. I would say, then, that the church, in its being, is characterized as a mystical communion of the believers in Christ brought together in unity by the Holy Spirit. This assertion gives the greatest sense of the central Pauline metaphor of the church as the Body of Christ. The church, then, is by definition a segment of humanity. The church is the people who have been called out of the whole. The church is the ecclesia. The question then becomes, what have they been called out for? Flowing out of the presence of the Spirit among the people as a worshiping community (Dulles' Church as Mystical Communion), the church is an organic society (Church as Institution) that provides access to the grace of God (Church as Sacrament) primarily through its ministries of correction and edification (Church as Herald) and mercy (Church as Servant). [10]

The specific task of this paper is to address one aspect of the church: the role of the Holy Spirit. It is an attempt to present a more pneumatological ecclesiology, over against models that have centered on the establishment of the church solely around the person of Christ, especially when this is seen as an historical event. I will do this by first addressing the writings of Paul Tillich. [11] Tillich was one of this century's greatest students of the Holy Spirit. Tillich discussed the life in the Holy Spirit under the rubric of 'unambiguous life', which can be delineated in three different metaphors: Spiritual Presence, Kingdom of God and Eternal Life. Following this discussion, I will address the question from a Pentecostal point of view, roughly paralleling the 'unambiguous life' with the 'Spirit-filled life'. In this discussion I will argue that in the Spirit-filled life, the Spirit is drawing the church into the presence of God, the power of God and the End of God. My understanding, and argument, is that Tillich can provide Pentecostals with categories and a language for discussing the work of the Spirit, yet it must be understood in a purely Pentecostal-charismatic sense. It should be noted that there are many areas of great divergence between Tillich and Pentecostalism, e.g., inspiration of scripture. These divergences will not be addressed here, though this would be an important study. Here I will concentrate on those points that provide a dialogue of construction. Finally, I will place this discussion within the context of postmodernism's renewed interest in spirituality, arguing that the Spirit-empowered church is able to provide a 'festival' within the postmodern 'carnival'.

I.

The third volume of Paul Tillich's Systematic Theology has been the most neglected of his trilogy. [12] In addition, Pentecostals have on the whole neglected the entire corpus of Tillich's work. There has been more interest in biblical theology, Wesleyan studies and Karl Barth within Pentecostalism. It seems important, though, that Tillich, and his third volume in particular, be addressed by Pentecostalism since he places such emphasis upon the Spirit. Nevertheless, despite such a common interest, the language that is used is quite different and thus needs to be clarified.

One thing that needs to be clear is the correlational nature of Tillich's theology. This is a process of doing theology that is intimately tied to the culture and lived reality of humanity. Questions are raised from the existential state of being, which are then answered by theology. Theology answers these questions largely in symbolic ways. In correlation to the spiritual dimension of humanity, theology posits the Spiritual Presence of the Ground of Being. In response to the historical dimension, theology points toward the symbol Kingdom of God. This weds theology to the human situation in ways that make theology more relevant and faithful to the perception of humanity.

Tillich spends a great deal of time discussing the human life in his work. He characterizes life as "the actualization of potential being" (Systematic Theology, 3:30), which contains both essential and existential aspects (ST 3:12). It is the multi-dimensionality in life, especially as expressed in the discontinuity between the essential and the existential, that is the "root of its ambiguity" (ST 3:107). Yet because of the "potential" nature of humanity, and life on the whole, there is a "quest for unambiguous or eternal life" (ST 3:12). This potentiality is the driving force in the processes of the self-integration of life, the self-creativity of life, and the self-transcendence of life. [13] In response to this ambiguity, Tillich argues that "religious symbolism has produced three main symbols for unambiguous life: Spirit of God, Kingdom of God, and Eternal Life" (ST 3:107). And further, "unambiguous life can be described as life under the Spiritual Presence, or as life in the Kingdom of God, or as Eternal Life" (ST 3:108). It is to the first of these symbols that I now turn.

The Spirit of God is understood in a unique way in the symbol-oriented theology of Tillich. Tillich does indeed wish to revisit the issue of the Trinitarian symbols, saying, "The doctrine of the Trinity is not closed. It can be neither discarded nor accepted in its traditional form. It must be kept open in order to fulfill its original function - to express in embracing symbols the self-manifestation of the Divine Life to man" (ST 3:294). Yet, in a truly symbolic way, Tillich expresses his theology in Trinitarian forms, accenting the roles of all three personae of the Trinity as metaphors for the Ground of Being. To extend this thought, Tillich describes the Spirit of God as the presence of the Ground of Being "within creaturely life" and it is not a "separated being" (ST 3:107). This, then, speaks of the Spirit as the relationship of the Divine with Creation and causes the synonymic use of 'Spiritual Presence' which points more toward the full meaning of the activity of the Spirit. In accenting this relational aspect of the Spiritual Presence, Tillich denies the legitimacy of translating "God is Spirit" as "God is Mind" or "God is Intellect" (ST 3:22) for these lines of thought ignore the relational and dynamic aspects of the symbol Spirit and point toward an egocentric and cloistered divinity.

For this is what Divine Spirit means: God present to our spirit. It is God Himself; but not God as the creative Ground of all things and nor God directing history and manifesting Himself in its central event, but God as present in communities and personalities, grasping them, inspiring them, and transforming them (Eternal Now 84).

How then does the Spiritual Presence relate to the church? If the Divine Spirit is best understood as the related Presence of the Divine with creation, then how can that Presence be limited? Indeed, Tillich states in his sermon collection, Eternal Now, "You cannot force the Spirit upon yourself, upon an individual, upon a group, or even upon a Christian church ... the Spirit is not bound to the Christian church or any one of them" (87). Yet even in the midst of this passage, Tillich points toward a clue when he says, "he who is the foundation of the church was himself of the Spirit, and ... the Spirit as it was present in him is the greatest manifestation of the Spiritual Presence" (87). Though this is a reference to a Christological foundation for the church, which I would not deny, it is a Christology that is understood pneumatically. For Christ was of the Spirit. The Spiritual Presence cannot be limited to only the location of the church, yet Tillich is able to speak of the church in distinguishing terms. He states, "The church as the community of the New Being is the place where the new theonomy is actual" (ST 1:148). And in Theology of Culture, "the Church ... is primarily a group of people who express a new reality by which they have been grasped" (212).

Who is it that composes the church? Since the church is a segment of humanity and not all of humankind by virtue of their being created by God, there is a qualification to being a member of this group. For Tillich, this qualification is having the Spiritual Presence in one's life: "To be a Christian means to have the Spirit" (Shaking the Foundations 132). It is the one who accepts Jesus as the Christ who has the Spirit. In fact, this is the evidence of the Spirit's presence. This is because, "the spirit of man is not capable of making the statement: 'I accept Jesus as the Christ'" (Shaking 120). Armbruster describes it like this: "The Spiritual Community is the creation of the Spirit which opens the eyes of faith to a recognition of the New Being. But it is the New Being in Jesus as the Christ that is the criterion of the Spiritual Presence and the measure of the marks of the Spiritual Community" (214). The presence of the Spirit brings about witness of Jesus as the Christ. When this witness occurs, the Spiritual Presence is evidenced and membership in the Spiritual Community is ascertained. It is, then, the Spiritual Presence that compels, actualizes and empowers the composition of the church.

In describing the character of the Spiritual Presence, Tillich refers to a state of ecstasy. Ecstasy is understood in terms of the metaphor of the Spirit working "in" the human spirit. So that, the Spirit's working "in" is the human spirit's "out." This is truly an ex-stasis. This ecstasy produces profound effects upon the affectional behavior of the one who is in the Presence and it is the basis for the mystical nature of Tillich's theology.

Certainly, the Spiritual power can thrust some people into an ecstasy that most of us have never experienced. It can drive some towards a kind of self-sacrifice of which most of us are not capable. It can inspire some to insights into the depth of being that remain unapproachable to most of us. But this does not justify our denial that the Spirit is working in us. Without doubt, wherever it works, there is an element, possibly very small, of self-surrender, and an element, however weak, of ecstasy, and an element, perhaps fleeting, of awareness of the mystery of existence. Yet these small effects of the Spiritual power are enough to prove its presence (Eternal Now 84-85).

These effects are manifested in various ways: spiritual, psychological, physical and so on. All of the ways point toward the universal and supernatural workings of God. The Spiritual Presence disrupts the natural order. As Tillich states in Systematic Theology: "should we give a 'phenomenology' of the Spiritual Presence, we should find in the history of religion a large number of reports and descriptions which indicate that ecstasy as the work of the Spirit disrupts created structure ... these reports point to two important qualities of Spiritual Presence: its universal and extraordinary character" (3:114-15). By universal, Tillich is describing the unifying effect that the Spirit has upon the ambiguities of human existence. By affecting every dimension of life, the Spiritual Presence is actualizing a new order that is foreign to the current historical existence. This is not unlike the ministry of Jesus the Christ in making a person "whole." Especially in the Fourth Gospel, this is a primary understanding of the events of healing that were reportedly done by Jesus. The person was not only physically repaired, but made complete in every dimension of their life. In line with this integrating of the person, Tillich turns to Paul, specifically 1 Corinthians, to give the guidelines for this ecstatic experience of the Spiritual Presence.

The relation to the divine ground of being through the divine Spirit is not agnostic (as it is not amoral); rather it includes the knowledge of the 'depth' of the divine. However ... this knowledge is not the fruit of theoria, the receiving function of the human spirit, but has an ecstatic character, as indicated by the language Paul uses in these chapters as well as in the chapter on agape. In ecstatic language Paul points to agape and gnosis - forms of morality and knowledge in which ecstasy and structure are united (ST 3:117).

One of the ways this affect is actualized is in the bringing about of freedom from the law. In a sermon, Tillich exposits 2 Corinthians 3.5-6 by emphasizing the freedom from the written law that comes in the Spiritual Presence (Eternal Now 89). Yet this freedom is tied to his understanding of holiness. There is judgment in the existence of the law, yet the Spirit uses this judgment to bring about life and freedom while preventing us "from becoming compromisers, half fulfilling, half defying the commandments" and trying to "escape into indifference, or lawlessness, or (most usually) average self-righteousness" (Eternal Now 90). The Spiritual Presence gives the Christian power to overcome the natural tendency of human will. Humans have a lust for power and self-gratification. Yet, "(t)hose who have the Spirit walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit. The power of infinite desire and unlimited will to power is broken ... when, for us, the Spirit is present, desire is transformed into love and will to power into justice" (Shaking 136).

I return now to the Christological nature of the church for Tillich. Christ is the center of the church for Tillich, but in a different way than it was for Barth or Bonhoeffer. For Barth, Christ stood at the center as the objectively revealed source of the church. For Bonhoeffer, Christ is the center as the "man for others" who is seen in others, thus standing between "I and Thou". Neither Barth nor Bonhoeffer had as central a Spirit-Christology as did Tillich. For as Reisz has stated, Tillich's "entire Christology indicates that the crucial matter for faith is the 'picture' of Jesus as the Christ transmitted through the community of faith by the Spiritual Presence" (94). As the Spirit transmits Christ throughout the community, the picture of the New Being that is projected to the community then becomes the standard for the overcoming of human nature discussed above. Without the Presence, there is no revelation of Jesus as the Christ and therefore no community centered on Jesus as the Christ. "As the Christ is not the Christ without those who receive him as the Christ, so the Spiritual Community is not Spiritual unless it is founded on the New Being as it has appeared in the Christ" (ST 3:150). That is why the Spirit is actualized in communities rather than individuals. It also shows the incarnational aspect of even the Spirit, for it is within historical humankind that the Presence is found, not in abstract thought (Armbruster 213). This is another case against understanding the Spirit as mind or intellect of God. The Spirit is revealed, and exists, solely in relationship, divine and human.

The Spirit, which descends on humankind, does what the spirit of humankind cannot do. It creates unambiguous life. By the nature of humanity, there is a quest, a search, a longing for a conquering of the ambiguity, but this is out of the reach of humans. The Spiritual Presence only brings it about as it works in the life of the individual within the community. This is existential salvation, for it is the resolution of existential ambiguity, the questioning and uneasiness brought about by existence, which is defined as "a state of estrangement from ourselves, others, and the power of being" (Kelsey 93). When this estrangement is overcome, salvation is present, in Spiritual Presence.

The Kingdom of God is the second of Tillich's main symbols for the unambiguous life. The Kingdom of God is how Tillich describes the historical placement of the Spiritual Presence. The Kingdom of God is expressed in both inner-historical terms and trans-historical terms. The inner-historical is expressed by the concept of Kairos. Kairos is drawn from Greek concepts of time as differentiated by the words chronos and Kairos. Chronos signifies the progression of time. Kairos signifies a specific time of fullness and completeness. "Kairos points to unique moments in the temporal process, moments in which something unique can happen or be accomplished" ("Kairos" 194). The Kairos is an event wherein the eternal breaks into the temporal, the infinite into the finite. This breakthrough is empowered by the Spiritual Presence and demands openness to the eternal. [14]

Kairos is understood in two ways for Tillich. Firstly, there is the central Kairos, the "world-historical event" of Jesus as the Christ. As discussed earlier, the central Kairos is what centers the community of faith. Secondly, there are derivative kairoi in which "a religious cultural group has an existential encounter with the central event" (ST 3:153). In a dictionary entry on "Kairos," Tillich explains the need for this double understanding and how they cohere: "there can be no doubt that Christianity needs not only the consciousness of the central Kairos, but also of smaller kairoi and their prophetic interpretation. Otherwise, the central Kairos loses its concreteness and applicability to future history" (195). If the Kairos loses its concreteness, it loses its existential basis and relevancy for the community. This existential, historical nature of the Kairos is what is understood as the Kingdom of God. It was the Kingdom of God that was preached by Jesus the Christ. It was the Kingdom of God that we are told by Scripture was lived out in the life of Jesus the Christ. It is the Kingdom of God that is actualized in each Kairos that is historically experienced by the Spiritual Community. To provide some sense of objectivity and discernment of legitimacy to the community's existential Kairos, Tillich says that the central Kairos is the "final criterion" ("Kairos" 196). In The Protestant Era, Tillich describes the relationship of Kairos and the Kingdom of God, "In each Kairos the 'Kingdom of God is at hand,' for it is a world-historical, unrepeatable, unique decision for and against the unconditional. Every Kairos is, therefore, implicitly the universal Kairos and an actualization of the unique Kairos, the appearance of the Christ. But no Kairos brings the fulfilment in time" (47). There is only fragmentary and episodic fulfillment within space and time.

This actualization of the Kingdom of God is directly related to the unambiguous life. For the Kingdom of God is by definition the actualization of that which brings about the resolution of ambiguity. It is theonomy. In describing Tillich's understanding of theonomy, Kelsey defines it as "living social moments whose norm (nomos) comes, not from ourselves nor from an alien 'other,' but from the 'transcendent unity of unambiguous life' (theos) which precisely in its transcendence is none the less immediately present to us" (97). Theonomy is the relatedness of everything to the Ultimate. The ground of being defines what the essence of being is. When the existence is brought in line with the essence, theonomy is lived out. Or put another way, "acting out the Kairos means acting in the direction of theonomy" (Protestant Era 48). Tillich is careful to avoid a legalistic turn in theonomy when he says, "We shall call such a situation 'theonomous,' not in the sense that in it God lays down the laws but in the sense that such an age, in all its forms, is open to and directed toward the divine." (Protestant Era 44)

Tillich understood Kairos to only be actualized in the Spiritual Community. But no community is always acting within the unambiguous life so the Spiritual Community is not "the ultimate fulfillment of the Kingdom of God" (Armbruster 215). The unambiguous life is fragmentary, because it is historically tied to the existential ambiguity of the human members of the community. Placing the Kingdom of God in a more explicit church context, Tillich stated in The Theology of Culture "(t)he Church is the place where the New Being is real, and the place where we can go to introduce the New Being into reality" (213). The church, which is not directly linked with the Spiritual Community since the Spiritual Community is invisible and not tied to any organization, is directly bound to the existential ambiguities of life (ST 1:148). Yet it is because of this existential struggle that, through the Spiritual Presence, the Kingdom of God can be manifested. This manifestation is not simply for the narcissistic enjoyment of the community's members, but it is to be expressed by the community in theonomic acts that fall in line with the directives of the Kingdom of God. The churches are the "representatives of the Kingdom of God in history" (ST 3:374).

As Kelsey says, the symbol "'Kingdom of God' expresses how the 'inner aim' of created time is the elevating of the finite into the eternal" (97). And in his dictionary article on Kairos, Tillich says that Kairos is "now used to signify a category of a prophetic interpretation of the 'signs of the time' and of history universal" (196-97). It is easy to see the direct relation, then, of the symbols Kingdom of God and Eternal Life. The New Being that stands behind the Kingdom of God is Being-itself. "But the Divine Being is not a being beside others. It is the power of being conquering non-being. It is eternity conquering temporality. It is grace conquering sin. It is ultimate reality conquering doubt" (Theology of Culture 213). This in-breaking of the Kingdom into the here and now, is an actualization of Eternal Life. In fact, Tillich says that the "fragmentary victories of the Kingdom of God in history point by their very character to the non-fragmentary side of the Kingdom of God 'above' history" (ST 3:394). McConnell can sum up Tillich's eschatological vision of the teleology of humanity in this statement: "Humankind is moving from his or her created essence, through estranged existence, eschatologically back to essentialization in the New Being" (23). This is a process that exists in, and out, of time, both in the temporal and the Eternal.

"There is no time after time, but there is eternity above time ... endless future is without a final aim; it repeats itself and could well be described as an image of hell. This is not the Christian way of dealing with the end. The Christian message says that the eternal stands above past and future" (Eternal Now 125). It is the fact that eternity is outside, or above, time that allows it to break in on the temporal. If the 'end' were solely what happens after time, there would be no point of access. Yet, the Spiritual Presence, by its own eternal nature, provides a portal to the infinite and unconditional. It is through this portal to Eternal Life that the individual can grasp unambiguous life (and be grasped by it), and the Kingdom of God can be actualized by the Spiritual Presence.

Tillich distinguishes "the last things" from the "end". Ta eschata signifies all of the events that are to happen at the end of time. The eschaton is qualitatively different. "The eschatological problem is given an immediate existential significance by this reduction of the eschata to the eschaton. It ceases to be an imaginative matter about an indefinitely far (or near) catastrophe in time and space and becomes an expression of our standing in every moment in face of the eternal, though in a particular mode of time" (ST 3:395). This changes one's perspective from that of hoping for (or dreading) a day that will happen in the future, to a state of expectancy and ecstasy with the Divine Presence today. It brings the end into the present. It causes an "Eternal Now". "Not everybody, and nobody all the time, is aware of this 'Eternal Now' in the temporal 'now.' But sometimes it breaks powerfully into our consciousness and gives us the certainty of the eternal, of a dimension of time which cuts into time and gives our time" (Eternal Now 131). This now gives a new way of reading scripture. It takes the words from an indefinite past to the existential now. "There are many healing stories in the Gospels, a stumbling block for scholars and preachers and teachers, because they take them as healing stories of the past instead of taking them as healing stories of the present" (New Being 38). Certainly, Tillich understood this healing differently than a Pentecostal would, he would demythologize the stories, but what he did recognize here is the eternal nature of the Divine Logos and how that word is a word for now. This, then, leads to a discussion of Pentecostalism in dialogue with the preceding statements on Tillich.

II.

Pentecostalism arose out of the nineteenth century's Holiness movement around the turn of the century. The distinctive of Pentecostalism is its position on a Christ-centered, five-fold gospel, which says that Jesus is: Savior, Sanctifier, Spirit Baptizer, Healer, and soon coming King. [15] The primary focus of this five-fold gospel that sets Pentecostalism apart is its insistence upon a baptism in the Holy Spirit subsequent to the primary work of salvation and "a clean heart." It is this Spirit baptized life that I wish to set in comparison to Tillich's unambiguous life by saying the Spirit draws the Spirit-baptized believer into the presence of God, into the power of God and into the purpose, or end, of God.

The baptism in the Holy Spirit is primarily a way of living in the presence of God. The outpouring of the Spirit within the life of the Spirit baptized believer, to the point of observable over-flowing, is an immersion in God. Hollis Gause describes the Spirit-filled life as being both a distinctive experience and a way of life before God (9). This highlights the Kairos of the event and the Presence through time. To describe clearly the role that the Spirit plays within the church, Oliver McMahan, writing in Endued With Power: The Holy Spirit in the Church, draws upon the imagery of the Spirit's presence: "Without the Spirit operating in the church, churches are religious clubs meeting on Sundays, not biblical congregations. Remove the Spirit and all that remains is a shell of words and teachings, barren of God-breathed life" (85). To live in the presence of the Spirit is to live in the gracious, life-giving 'breath' of God. It is to commune with the Spiritus Creator, the creating Spirit. This life is a communion "in" God - "a people of God, a body of Christ and thus a communion in the Holy Spirit" (Land, "A Passion for the Kingdom" 38).

To live in the presence of God is to be holy. Pentecostals, as direct and indirect products of Wesley, Wesleyanism and the Holiness movement, have had a preferential vision of the holiness of God. Sermons, testimonies, choice of scripture quotations and songs highlighted the holiness of God and the call from God for God's people to be holy. To be filled with the Spirit is to be holy for the Spirit is not just any spirit it is the Holy Spirit. "The church that is caught up in the divine fellowship is one because of the same divine presence from whom it lives; the church is holy because that presence is the holy and only presence which sanctifies. To be set apart unto God, for believer and church, is to be set apart for union, for that which is joined to God is holy" (Land, "Passion" 38).

The presence of the Holy Spirit in the church, in our midst, has a distinct ethical nature. As Gause says, "If the Holy Spirit - the eschatological gift to the kingdom of God - is also present, we ought therefore to live in existential crisis: to live as those who stand in the presence of the coming glorious and holy King" (97). Stated negatively, to be in the presence of the King and to live contrary to the kingdom is to risk the judgment of the King in one's life. Stated more positively, "the Holy Spirit accomplishes in those to whom He ministers the graces of His own nature. In terms of law, He accomplishes that which is required, which is the holiness of His own nature. In terms of promise, He accomplishes graces of love and mercy therein promised, which is the formation of His nature in us" (Gause 96).

What, then, does it mean for the church to be in the presence of God? What are the ethical, liturgical, ecclesiastical and missiological implications of this presence? Ethically, the church is to live in line with the Kingdom of God. This is outlined in scripture, especially in Matthew 5-7 and Luke 4.18-19. Here we are told that Jesus taught that the Kingdom of God has visibly ethical demands. Since we in the church are empowered by the Spirit, then we are to carry on the same ministry that the Christ did. That is, if the Spirit of the Lord is upon us, we are to "preach the gospel to the poor ... proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are downtrodden, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord" (Luke 4.18-19 NASB).

This ethical dimension of Spirit-baptism is only one aspect, though. The Presence of the Spirit gives power and ability to witness of the Kingdom of God. Pentecostal New Testament scholar Robert Menzies argues that in the Lukan literature, there is never a soteriological function given to the Spirit as it is in Pauline literature. He says "Luke consistently portrays the Spirit as the source of prophetic inspiration, which (by granting special insight and inspiring speech) empowers God's people for effective service" (44). This is understood in the passage in Acts 1.8, "but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses" (NASB). There is no mention of a salvific work by the Spirit at this point. The emphasis is on the ability to witness. It is this understanding, and Pentecostals would argue, this empowerment that has enabled Pentecostalism to grow from a handful of people at the beginning of the twentieth century to over 400 million (an average estimate) less than a century later. A passion for the Kingdom (see Land) was birthed in the Pentecostals by the Spiritual Presence and this presence enabled them to fulfill the missiological goal.

Primarily two things evidence this power of God that the Spirit draws the church into: a spiritual boldness and "signs following." The spiritual boldness brought about by Spirit-baptism is presented in Acts 4.8-13. Here Peter and John are before the religious rulers in Jerusalem. The previously timid (Luke 22) Peter, "filled with the Holy Spirit", spoke boldly to the leaders. Verse thirteen gives an explanatory response by the leaders: "Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John, and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were marveling, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus" (NASB). This gives the sense and source of that confidence. The men had been with Jesus, who gave the substance of the speech and experience, but it was through the filling of the Spirit that they were enabled to speak. This is clear since Peter had been with Jesus prior to his denials in Luke 22, but after being filled with the Spirit, he spoke to thousands and to antagonistic leaders.

In regards to the "signs following," Pentecostals argue for the continuance of the charismata presented in the Pauline corpus. Without getting enmeshed in a long discussion on biblical inerrancy and inspiration, it could be noted that Pentecostals have a cyclical hermeneutic. By cyclical hermeneutic I mean that the scriptural text has personal authority because it is both held to be the revealed Word of God and because it is experientially witnessed. One primary reason for a cessationist, or demythologizing, view is that the interpreter has not witnessed the event in his or her own experience. Because Pentecostals have witnessed these events, [16] the Word is validated. The hermeneutical cycle comes when the Word is trusted during those times when the desired answer does not come and the Pentecostal must trust the Word despite the seemingly unanswered prayer.

Another way that the Spirit empowers the church is through the charismatic gift of discernment. This gift is actualized in various ways. I believe that a clearer understanding of this gift, in particular, is needed within our contemporary context. One thing the church needs to discern is the activity of the Spirit itself. One way of approaching this is by understanding the Spirit's work in the church as paradigmatic of the work that the Spirit is doing outside of the church. If the Spirit is actualizing the fruit of the Spirit in the church, we can discern where and how these are being actualizing outside of the church. One of the most difficult things for Pentecostals to face is this work outside of the church. Most have given verbal acknowledgment to this fact, but they have struggled to admit that anything "out there" is the work of the Spirit. We need to discern, by the same Spirit, what the Spirit is saying. "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches" (Revelation 2.29 NASB), even when the voice may be coming from without the churches. One of the areas where this discernment needs to be applied is in regards to our changing context that has been labeled postmodernity.

III.

We are currently living in an epoch of radical cultural transformation. The term postmodernism has been weaving its way through most disciplines for the last half century gaining more momentum with each year. We are definitely in the midst of a changed and changing world. In fact, that is one of the attributes of contemporary Western civilization; it is characterized by change. Stanley Grenz refers to postmodernism as "an intellectual mood and an array of cultural expressions that call into question the ideals, principles, and values that lay at the heart of the modern mind-set" (12). This definition stands in line with the opinion of Daniel Adams (with Stephen Toulman [17]) who is only able to define postmodernism by what it is not: it is not modernity. To this end, he characterizes postmodernity theologically by "the idea that modern theology with its Enlightenment assumptions has been weighed in the balance and found wanting" (Adams 89).

Nevertheless, there are certain characteristics that are arising out of the spirit of postmodernism. In a broad stroke, Cheryl Bridges Johns points toward what is "clearly evident." "(T)here is no longer an accepted center of truth, a system, an ideology which provides a unified vision of life" (1). Building on this assumption, Thiselton describes this ethos from the perspective of the postmodern self in saying that "everything addresses issues only within a localized context, and may seem to count as meaningful or truthful only in relation to goals and projects already established within this pre-given social context" (33). Adams follows Zygmunt Bauman [18] in saying that there are at least three main characteristics: the decline of the West, the legitimation crisis, and undeniable pluralism.

These characteristics get played out in various ways but the ones that are most interesting for this project are related to an increased openness to spirituality. Modernity was characterized by certain unquestioned assumptions that stemmed from the Enlightenment: a division of sacred and secular and an unwavering trust in the scientific rationality of humankind. These were supposed to lead to a unified and developing society based on these principles. But, postmodernity has arisen out of the failure of modernity to achieve this unity and development as evidenced in the twentieth century. The questioning of postmodernity, then, not only pertains to the goal of modernity, but it encompasses the assumptions as well. There is a new melding of sacred and secular, evidenced by the Iranian fundamentalist revolution of the seventies, as well as the cooperation of the Roman Catholic church and Islamic leaders at the United Nations International Conference on Population and Development held in Cairo in 1994. [19]

Most relevant to my effort is the disillusionment that has arisen in regards to the ability of empirical rationalism and scientific knowledge. There is a rising affirmation that the postmodern age is the age of the Spirit (or spirits). [20] There is a mass turning away from humanistic rationalism to pre-modern religions, spiritualities within the established religions, and the syncretistic New Age spirituality that is a melding of any blend of spiritualities of the individual's choice. Tillich describes this context years ago as a Kairos, "But an age that is turned toward, and open to, the unconditional is one in which the consciousness of the presence of the unconditional permeates and guides all cultural functions and forms. The divine, for such a state of mind, is not a problem but a presupposition. Its 'givenness' is more certain than that of anything else." (Protestant Era 43) Within Christianity, the areas of increased interest and participation have been fundamentalism, Eastern Orthodoxy and charismatic-Pentecostal movements. There are even those, such as Harvey Cox of Harvard, who say that Pentecostalism will be the dominant worldview of the twenty-first century. Of course, one must question this as a goal, following Adams in recognizing that "in some areas of the world we may even find the roles of modernity reversed, so that Christians are now in the minority position and must suffer all that being in such a position implies. Perhaps it is in situations such as this that the real strength of the Christian faith is to be found" (95). If the church has become the dominant, oppressive structure, is it still the church? The pluralism that is characteristic of the postmodern era gives the church the opportunity to "live out an alternative point of view and to do so in the realm of public discourse" (Adams 100). This is true even in the midst of the dangers of postmodernism.

Not only is postmodernity filled with opportunity, it is also filled with danger. It has been called a "carnival of cruelty" where meaning and truth are systemically deconstructed. Deconstructionism is a "consummatory, apocalyptic movement(s) which dismantle(s) the 'cathedral of modern intellect' and mock(s) all forms of anthropological reductionism" (Johns 5). Mark Taylor utilizes this motif of carnival for describing postmodernism.21 The festival of interpretation, which encompasses every aspect of life, negates the distance between the subject and the object, thus causing the interpreter to become an entangled (reluctant) participant in a never-ending cycle. As Taylor notes, the removal of the "book" of modernity, that is the ordered narrative and guidelines for life/interpretation, pushes the individual into an endless labyrinth filled with nonsensical voices calling for our attention with no coherency. "At the carnival we are left without a book, a narrative or canon to guide us through the maze. The only alternative is to wander and play" (Johns 5).

Let me distinguish between the "carnival of cruelty" or the "carnival of a-musement" (the out of time non-thinking) and the festival. I will do this through a brief examination of the archeology (Ricoeur) of the metaphors. The carnival has its roots in the narcissistic and hedonistic pursuit of pleasure. It is a suspension of time that runs counter to normal time. Carnival stems from the period immediately preceding Lent, hence the use of the root "carne" for the last binge of meat before the fasting in Lent. It has to do with entirely "fleshly" pursuits. Festival, on the other hand, is centered in a feast of celebration, especially religious celebration. If one were to compare the Feast of Lights (Hanukkah), the celebration of the deliverance of Israel in the Intertestamental period, along with the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkoth - note that this is the one Judaic Holy Day that prohibits fasting and mourning) which celebrates the journey through the wilderness which was the deliverance from Egypt, to postmodernity it is easy to see that "carnival" more adequately describes the environment. [22]

In this light, Pentecostalism provides a counter to, or at least an option within, the carnival. The Feast, or Festival, of Pentecost (Weeks) stands over against the carnival of postmodernity. The carnival stands in negation of what it is replacing, either Mardi Gras prior to Lent, or deconstruction after structuralism, etc. Festival stands in celebration of what is present. Pentecost celebrates the Holy Spirit in Presence, Power and Purpose. The Spirit-empowered church, then, is to stand as a voice, albeit one voice among many, providing both a "haven for the masses," or as Johns calls them "modernity's refugees", and a prophetic voice of hope in the midst of hopelessness. [23]

And yet, Pentecostalism, in its celebration of that which is present, also stands against the formulations of modernity, for it was modernity that domesticated religion. It removed the power of the Spirit to heal, to speak fresh and new. It removed the mystical in favor of the book. Pentecost is at once a celebration of the book (rooted in the giving of the davarim at Sinai) and the giving of the Spirit that provides freedom within, from and on the book. The book is domesticating and limiting, if understood in the modern sense, both fundamentalist and liberal interpretations. It is inadequate because it is limited. The Spirit is not. The Spirit, though never contradictory to the Word, gives life beyond the paper and ink. As Johns has stated, "that is why pentecostals have done a poor job of systematizing their theology, for in their attempts to do so meaning is lost" (5).

Pentecostalism deconstructs modernity's project, and reconstructs the Kingdom of God in our reality. For where the Spirit of God speaks in the community, the reign of God is there. It is a denial of humanity's ability to provide on their own and a decree of the ability of God to act to bring about God's will. Where humanity (at its best) sought equality through legislation and economic reform, Pentecost brought a voice to everyone within the gathering. People, regardless of sex, race, age, social status, education, natural ability, etc. were enabled by the Spirit to have a voice. And this voice was not limited to their own voice. They spoke with the voice of God, either through tongues, interpretation or prophecy. Joel 2. 28-29 was enacted in the Pentecostal community: "And it will come about after this, that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. And even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days" (NASB).

Even Tillich has an affinity at this point, "In the story of Pentecost, the Spirit of Christ shows its creativity in both directions, the individual and the universal. Each disciple receives the fiery tongue that is the new creative Spirit. Members of all nations, separated by their different tongues, understand each other in this New Spirit, which creates a new peace, beyond the cleavages of Babel - the peace of the Church" (Shaking 138). This reconstruction does not end in the here and now, though. The end is in the final consummation, what Tillich calls "eschatological pan-en-theism" (ST 3:421), when "the triune God ... is to be 'all in all'" (Land, Pentecostal Spirituality 219). And in the midst of the carnival of cruelty, the unending labyrinth, we can hear the Spirit empowered cry of the festival that is both "?????? ??" and "????? ???". [24]

Afterward

I began my discussion drawing on the work of Lindbeck. It seems to me that it will take this type of understanding to provide witness in an age where 'modernity's refugees' reject any claim to a meta-narrative. In the cacophony of the carnival, we are one voice among many, speaking one language among many, providing one culture among many. Our task is to speak as clearly and distinctly as we (with the Spirit's enablement) can. This context requires a new envisioning of ecclesiology ... one that cuts across modernity's categories ... one that is pneumatological. I present this analysis as a step toward this type of ecclesiology. In this type of ecclesiology, as I have attempted to show in my comparison of Tillich and Pentecostalism, the Spirit draws the church into the Presence of God, the Power of God and the End of God in order to actualize what Tillich calls the unambiguous life, or more deeply, what Pentecostals call the Spirit-filled life.

Endnotes

[1] See George Lindbeck, The Nature of Doctrine: Religion and Theology in a Postliberal Age, (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1984) where these terms are established.

[2] Two excellent discussions concerning postliberalism and anti-foundational theology from an anti-foundational and/or evangelical perspective are found in: Stanley Hauerwas, Nancey Murphy and Mark Nation, eds., Theology Without Foundations: Religious Practice and the Future of Theological Truth (Nashville: Abingdon, 1994); and Timothy R. Phillips and Dennis L. Okholm, eds., The Nature of Confession: Evangelicals & Postliberals in Conversation (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1996).

[3] I do, in fact, testify to a specific belief in an actual, ontological reality. This reality, though not necessarily in process (Whitehead, Hartshorne, Cobb, et al), is not static. It is related to, though not dependent upon, humanity’s interpretation or perception. Therefore, a full mosaic of truth is not the same as it was in previous epochs, due to the change in time and elements (e.g., My existence was not a component of ‘actual truth’ prior to my conception. My grandfather’s death has changed another component of reality. Though these are simplistic examples, it does point toward the pattern of thought I hold.). This truth, though, is not determined by either the speech concerning it, or the belief in it.

[4] I give a fuller treatment of this in ‘Spiritual Formation as Moment and Process’, unpublished M.Div. Thesis, Church of God Theological Seminary, 1997.

[5] Coherent truth is intra-religious truth; it could also be characterized by a word like faithfulness. Correspondent truth is ontological truth that directly equates actual reality.

[6] See the writings of both Don Saliers and Kathryn Tanner who have expanded, in differing ways, the work of Lindbeck, especially in regards to the ‘grammar’.

[7] I use the term ‘(un)specific’ because I am placing myself within one specific movement of Christianity, yet it is vital to recognize the multifarious nature of the movement.

[8] There is a growing sentiment within Pentecostalism of the need to develop a theology of religions. At the Society for Pentecostal Studies meeting on March 12-14, 1998 (in joint session with the Wesleyan Theological Society), Amos Yong presented a paper entitled, ‘"Not Knowing Where the Spirit Blows": On Envisioning a Pentecostal-Charismatic Theology of Religions’ which was a call for this development, especially since Pentecostalism is an intensely missiological movement. Note also the essays collected in: Harold D. Hunter and Peter D. Hocken, eds., All Together in One Place: Theological Papers from the Brighton Conference on World Evangelization, (JPT Supplement Series; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1993).

[9] Avery Dulles, Models of the Church, expanded edition (New York: Doubleday, 1987).

[10] Space does not allow me to address sacramental theology and the question of grace being conferred through the sacraments. Nevertheless, this is one area of great personal interest.

[11] In light of my previous discussion of non-foundational theology, it seems appropriate to address the same question to Tillich. I have found in Tillich an internal war between an expressive-experiential nature and a non-foundational approach. Tillich’s broad conceptualization of the Spiritual Presence and his existentialism seem to be a line toward Schleiermacher and experiential foundations. Yet his understanding of confessional faith points more toward a lack of foundations. This may be a result of his location in history, being an earlier reaction to liberalism. Perhaps even this ambiguity, though, can prod us toward the ‘unambiguous life’ in a fuller way. And this does not effect a strong impact on my discussion with him. Cf. Schrader, pp. 123-24: "Tillich himself seems to assert both sides of this paradox … he holds that ontological assertions can be verified only by intelligent recognition, but that he holds that they can be argued for (fought over) on the basis of pure reason, in the name of the universal logos." Also, p. 125: Tillich would then be seen as arguing not against the thoroughgoing naturalist or idealist (with whom Tillich differs but cannot argue) but with the Christian naturalist (or naturalistic Christian). And to him Tillich’s basic argument would be either that such a person is not sufficiently comprehensive (of Christian Scripture and tradition: i.e., that he leaves something out) or that such a person is inconsistent (i.e., that he includes the various elements in Christianity but in such a way that he contradicts himself).

[12] Yet the third volume has been called the "crown" of the Systematic Theology in Wolfhart Pannenberg ‘Review of Systematic Theology Volume III by Paul Tillich’ Dialog 4 (Sum 1965), p. 230.

[13] Note how Tillich also speaks of the Spirit as accomplishing the unambiguous life that is reached for in the human quest: "For Spirit is first of all power, the power that drives the human spirit above itself towards what it cannot attain by itself . . ." in Eternal Now, p.84.

[14] See Bulman, pp. 90-92.

[15] See Land, p. 18. There are specific groups within the Pentecostal movement that have an explicit four-fold gospel, leaving out the aspect of sanctification as a distinct work of Christ’s grace (Assembly of God, et al). Yet there is still a high emphasis upon sanctification giving an implicit five-fold gospel.

[16] For example, no one can convince me that God no longer miraculously heals. As a child, a lump on the back of my head disappeared instantaneously as the church prayed for me. I have also seen the blind receive their sight and the lame walk. It is interesting to note, though, that all of these events were outside of the United States. My childhood experience was while we lived in the Bahamas and the other events I mentioned I observed (and participated in) on a trip to Peru last year. This may say something to the type of faith, expectancy and understanding that is present in the United States.

[17] Stephen Toulmin, The Return to Cosmology: Postmodern Science and the Theology of Nature (Los Angeles: U of California P, 1982), p. 254.

[18] Zygmunt Bauman, Intimations of Postmodernity (London: Routledge, 1992), pp. 35-52, 96-101.

[19] See Adams.

[20] See Daniel J. Adams, ‘Possibilities for Theology in the Postmodern Era’ Asia Journal of Theology 10 (April 1996), pp. 89-104; David Harvey, The Condition of Postmodernity: An Enquiry into the Origins of Cultural Change (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1989); Philippa Berry and Andrew Wernak, eds. Shadow of Spirit: Postmodernism and Religion (London: Routledge, 1992).

[21] See Mark Taylor, Erring: A Postmodern A/Theology (Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1984).

[22] The noteworthy exception here is the Ancient Roman (February 17) and Medieval French (January 1) Feast of Fools, or Festival of Fools, which has accurately been drawn upon by some postmodern writers. Nevertheless, I feel it is more accurate to go further toward the metaphorical and etymological root in the description.

[23] See Anthony Thiselton’s Interpreting God and the Postmodern Self, for a development of a theology of hope, in dialogue with Moltmann, in the postmodern age.

[24] Respectively, "our Lord, come!" and "our Lord has come!"

Works Cited

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Armbruster, Carl J., The Vision of Paul Tillich, (New York: Sheed and Ward, 1967).

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Berry, Philippa, and Andrew Wernak, eds., Shadow of Spirit: Postmodernism and Religion, (London: Routledge, 1992).

Bulman, Raymond F., ‘Paul Tillich and the Millennialist Heritage’, Theology Today 53 (Jan 1997), pp. 464-76.

Cox, Harvey, Fire From Heaven: The Rise of Pentecostal Spirituality and the Reshaping of Religion in the Twenty-First Century, (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1995).

Dulles, Avery, Models of the Church, rev. ed., (New York: Doubleday, 1987).

Gause, R. Hollis, Living in the Spirit: The Way of Salvation, (Cleveland, TN: Pathway, 1980).

Grenz, Stanley J., A Primer on Postmodernism, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996).

Harvey, David, The Condition of Postmodernity: An Enquiry into the Origins of Cultural Change, (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1989).

Hauerwas, Stanley, Nancey Murphy and Mark Nation, eds., Theology Without Foundations: Religious Practice and the Future of Theological Truth, (Nashville: Abingdon, 1994).

Hunter, Harold D., and Peter D. Hocken, eds., All Together in One Place: Theological Papers from the Brighton Conference on World Evangelization, (JPT Supplement Series; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1993).

Johns, Cheryl Bridges, ‘Meeting God in the Margins: Ministry Among Modernity’s Refugees’, Unpublished paper, 1997.

Kelsey, David H., ‘Paul Tillich’, The Modern Theologians: An Introduction to Christian Theology in the Twentieth Century, 2d ed., ed. David F. Ford, (Malden, MA: Blackwell, 1997), pp. 87-102.

Land, Steven J., ‘A Passion for the Kingdom: Revisioning Pentecostal Spirituality’, Journal of Pentecostal Theology 1 (Oct 1992), pp. 19-46.

---, Pentecostal Spirituality: A Passion for the Kingdom, (JPT Supplement Series, 1; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1993).

Lindbeck, George, The Nature of Doctrine: Religion and Theology in a Postliberal Age, (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1984).

McConnell, Russell, ‘The Eschatology of Paul Tillich’, Southwestern Journal of Theology 36 (Spr 1994), p. 23.

McMahan, Oliver L., ‘The Holy Spirit’s Work in the Church’, Endued with Power: The Holy Spirit in the Church, ed. Robert White, (Nashville: Nelson, 1995), pp. 83-123.

Menzies, Robert P., Empowered for Witness: The Spirit in Luke-Acts, (JPT Supplement Series, 6; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1994).

Pannenberg, Wolfhart, ‘Review of Systematic Theology Volume III by Paul Tillich’, Dialog 4 (Sum 1965), pp. 229-32.

Phillips, Timothy R., and Dennis L. Okholm, eds., The Nature of Confession: Evangelicals & Postliberals in Conversation, (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1996).

Schrader, Robert W., The Nature of Theological Argument: A Study of Paul Tillich, (Harvard Dissertations in Religion, 4; Missoula, MT: Scholars Press, 1975).

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Tillich, Paul, The Eternal Now, (New York: Scribner’s Sons, 1963).

---, ‘Kairos’, A Handbook of Christian Theology, eds. Arthur A. Cohen and Marvin Halverson, (Nashville: Abingdon, 1958), pp. 193-97.

---, The New Being, (New York: Scribner’s Sons, 1955).

---, The Protestant Era, trans. James Luther Adams, (Chicago: U Chicago P, 1948).

---, The Shaking of the Foundations, (New York: Scribner’s Sons, 1948).

---, Systematic Theology, 3 vols., (Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1951-63).

---, Theology of Culture, (New York: Oxford UP, 1959).

Toulmin, Stephen, The Return to Cosmology: Postmodern Science and the Theology of Nature, (Los Angeles: U of California P, 1982).

Yong, Amos, ‘"Not Knowing Where the Spirit Blows": On Envisioning a Pentecostal-Charismatic Theology of Religions’, Unpublished paper presented to the 27th Annual Meeting of the Society for Pentecostal Studies, Cleveland, TN. March 13, 1998.

Emerging Church Economics

There are too many errors in this book for unsophisticated readers. McLaren’s book has value only to readers who recognize the mistakes but are willing to learn about a position that springs from ideology and a theological framework. For me, the emerging church movement is enough to consider by itself without flawed economics intertwined

Mordecai Kaplan: Rethinking Judaism for the New World

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