Testimony in the Spirit: Rescripting Ordinary Pentecostal Theology

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"Mark J. Cartledge has taken David Martin's concept of rescripting which he applies to (in Jeff Astley's language) the 'ordinary theology' of a local Pentecostal denomination and has pulled off a remarkable study of interdisciplinary sophistication which is both faithful to Pentecostal self understanding of their lives. yet deeply reflexive sociologically, and reflective theologically. If that were not enough he offers this rescription to Pentecostal practitioners in a spirit of critical engagement. This study is so rich and rounded that I am tempted to throw caution to the wind and say with confidence that this lifts practical theology to a higher level. Testimony in the Spirit is a tour de force. Andrew Walker, Professor of Theology, Culture and Education, King's College London, UK" "Finally, a practical theological methodology that ably and adequately closes the loop between the vibrant and widely heralded 'Pentecostal spirituality' and the second-level discourse of Pentecostal theology. Cartledge not only writes here in service of the church. but further solidifies his reputation at the vanguard of the increasingly important field of practical theology through his expert translation of Pentecostal experience, that remains quite enigmatic to those outside the movement. Amos Yong, J. Rodman Williams Professor of Theology, Regent University School of Divinity, Virginia Beach, USA" "This is theological reflection that questions and listens discerningly to a local Pentecostal congregation in the light of a larger theological conversation. The result is a fruitful exchange that provides much needed clarity of thought, not only for Pentecostals, but for everyone interested in understanding how theology can serve the life and mission of the church. Frank D. Macchia, Professor of Christian Theology at Vanguard University, USA" "In a lucid and compelling style, Cartledge takes the reader inside the 'ordinary theology' of contemporary British Pentecostalism. He raises issues of great importance to leaders of diverse religious communities. while sharing ground-breaking scholarship in Pentecostal/Charismatic studies and Practical Theology Richard Osmer, Thomas W. Synnott Professor of Christian Education at Princeton Theological Seminary, USA" "This book explores the ordinary beliefs and practices of Pentecostal and Charismatic Christians in relation to the Holy Spirit. It does this by means of a congregational study of a classical Pentecostal church in the UK, using participant observation, focus groups and documentary and media analysis. This approach develops a framework in which the narratives of informants can be interpreted. Focusing on specific areas of interest, such as worship, conversion, healing and witness, each contribution from respondents is situated within the context of the congregation and interpreted by means of the broader christian tradition." This book makes a unique contribution to scholarship by offering a rich and varied picture of contemporary Christians in the Pentecostal and Charismatic traditions, enabling a greater understanding to be appreciated for both academic and ecclesial audiences.

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Product Details

Table of Contents

List of Figure and Tables


1 Introduction 1

The Assemblies of God 3

Hockley Pentecostal Church 6

Aim and Overview 10

2 Methodology 13

Practical Theology as an Empirical Discipline 13

Rescripting Ordinary Theological Testimony 15

Process and Levels of Discourse 18

Research Methods 21

Pentecostal-Charismatic Theology 27

3 Worship 29

The Worship Service 29

Testimonies 32

Worship in British Pentecostalism 36

Ritual Theory and Pentecostal Worship 39

Pentecostal Theology of Worship 44

Rescripting Ordinary Theology 46

Summary 53

4 Conversion 55

Testimonies 56

Conversion in British Pentecostalism 61

A Multi-Disciplinary Theory of Religious Conversion 63

Pentecostal Theology of Conversion 73

Rescripting Ordinary Theology 77

Summary 79

5 Baptism in the Spirit 81

Testimonies 81

Baptism in the Spirit and British Pentecostalism 86

Religious Experience 89

Pentecostal Theology of Baptism in the Spirit 97

Rescripting Ordinary Theology 100

Summary 104

6 Healing 105

Testimonies 105

Healing in British Pentecostalism 110

Theories of the Self and Charismatic Healing 114

Evangelical and Pentecostal Theology 121

Rescripting Ordinary Theology 126

Summary 128

7 Life and Witness 131

Testimonies 131

British Society and the Assemblies of God 136

British Society, Secularisation and Religious Pluralism 139

Pentecostal Theology of Religions 143

Rescripting Ordinary Theology 150

Summary 152

8 World Mission and the Second Coming 155

A Dialogue 155

A Sermon 158

Early and Classical Pentecostalism 159

Millennialism and Millenarian Discourse 164

Pentecostal Eschatology 171

Rescripting Ordinary Theology 174

Summary 176

9 Conclusion 179

Recommendations for Renewed Congregational Praxis 179

Towards a Pentecostal Ecclesiology 183

Contribution 189

Future Research 189

Appendix A The Statement of Fundamental Truths (1924) 191

Appendix B The Statement of Faith (2004) 193

Appendix C The Pattern of Worship 195

References 197

Index 217

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