A Guide to Pentecostal Movements for Lutherans

 
 
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About the Book

In just over a century, Pentecostalism has rocketed from its humble beginnings in an interracial congregation on Azusa Street in Los Angeles to a global movement counting more than six hundred million members. Confronted with the bewildering array of Pentecostal, Charismatic, and Neocharismatic beliefs and practices, Lutherans are often at a loss as to how to think about Pentecostals, much less how to engage them in positive ways that build up the whole body of Christ.

In this guide, Lutherans will find tools for just such an engagement. Building on a foundation of Pentecostalism's history and varieties, Wilson undertakes an in-depth survey of biblical teaching on baptism, the Holy Spirit, and spiritual gifts. The guide then brings innovative new lenses to bear on the questions at stake: the use of church history in defending denominational borders, right and wrong approaches to prosperity, the power of the Spirit and corruptions of power, and the role of experience in theological discernment.

Written in a style accessible to laity and clergy alike, this guide will strengthen Lutherans' appreciation of their own tradition while enabling them to encounter Pentecostals as fellow believers in the salvation given by the triune God.

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Endorsements and Reviews

"Sarah Hinlicky Wilson guides her reader to understand the Pentecostal movement particularly in relation to the Lutheran tradition. This she does with the special care of a trained Lutheran theologian, and with the warm understanding of someone who has learned to appreciate the Pentecostal tradition through various ecumenical encounters and discussions. The result is a guide not only to the two Christian traditions, but a call to a journey for deeper understanding of the other."
Kaisamari Hintikka, Assistant General Secretary for Ecumenical Relations and Director for the Department for Theology and Public Witness, Lutheran World Federation

"Sarah Hinlicky Wilson has written a very welcome addition to the growing body of ecumenical literature concerning Pentecostals. A Guide to Pentecostal Movements for Lutherans is highly readable, sympathetic, and honest. Wilson has engaged in theological dialogue with Classical Pentecostals, done her homework in the relevant Biblical, theological, and historical fields, and delivered an honest and compelling volume that provides answers to serious questions and stereotypes that have often kept Pentecostals and Lutherans from taking one another seriously."
Cecil M. Robeck, Jr., Professor of Church History and Ecumenics, Director of the David du Plessis Center for Christian Spirituality, Fuller Theological Seminary

"Wilson does a stellar job of interweaving history and doctrinal themes, allowing the reader to identify points of similarity and difference while appreciating the complexity of Pentecostalism." (Read full review)
Allen G. Jorgenson, Professor of Systematic Theology and Assistant Dean at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary, Waterloo, Ontario

 

  Aimee Semple McPherson's diagram of loss and restoration in church history; according to her and many other early Pentecostals, the beginning of the restoration is Martin Luther

Aimee Semple McPherson's diagram of loss and restoration in church history; according to her and many other early Pentecostals, the beginning of the restoration is Martin Luther


  Dialogue commission at Asia Pacific Theological Seminary in Baguio City, the Philippines

Dialogue commission at Asia Pacific Theological Seminary in Baguio City, the Philippines

Lutheran-Pentecostal Dialogue

In September 2016 the first meeting of the international-level dialogue between the Lutheran World Federation and Classical Trinitarian Pentecostals took place in Baguio City, the Philippines. The process is expected to run five years with a final report coming out in 2020. Prior to this, the Institute for Ecumenical Research in Strasbourg, France, conducted a "proto-dialogue" between Lutherans and Pentecostals to lay the groundwork for the LWF dialogue. Its report is entitled Lutherans and Pentecostals in Dialogue. Many more resources on Pentecostalism and charismatic movements can be found at the Institute's website.