Saturday, June 04, 2005

Pentecostal Pastors and Theological Influences

Pastor's Most Influential Books

Why is this the case?: Pastors who lead charismatic or Pentecostal congregations were by far the least likely to include books on theology among their chosen titles: only 2% did so.

I know polls are limited in their scope and actual sampling, but somehow I am not all that shocked. Don't get me wrong-I read books on church culture, leadership, theology, philosophy and so forth, and I have nothing against any of these categories as such. But I find it a little disheartening that Pentecostal pastors were the least likely to be influenced by a work of theology. (Remember-I am a Pentecostal pastor myself.)

Maybe this is why I can't find much in the way of serious Pentecostal scholarship in the areas of ecclesiology, theology and worldview. Can someone help??


Public Theologian said...


Are you familiar with the Journal of Pentecostal Theology? They used to be published by the same peole who published my journal, Sheffield Academic Press out of the University fo SAheffield in the UK, but when the publishing conglomerate Continuum gobbled up SAP it spit out all of the journals that were not cash cows, and both JPT and our journal were fairly new and thus did not yet have the big numbers that the publisher wanted for its stockholders. Happily, we both were picked up by other publishers so JPT is still going strong over at Sage Publication. They have very fine scholars who are dedicated to keeping the Pentecostal moevment on the cutting edge in theology.

Callmeteem said...

Good question and that troubles me too.

Phil (Col 1:27-28) said...

I also agree with you about this concern. However I also get concerned about too much theology and not enough Holy Spirit Anointing.

I am not sure balance is the word, but certainly tension should be. There needs to be a tension between our study of theological material and our hunger to move in the power of God. We shouldn't have to choose between them. I believe we need to be Word and Power people.

We have a lot of ground to cover on both sides of this issue yet there is a warning for both sides of this issue; we can over focus upon theology to our harm and we can over focus upon the things of the Spirit to our harm. The evidence of both are all around us.

Blessings in Christ Jesus!

John said...

Phil, there are many books written by Pentecostal theologians, just do a google search and you will find!

Two of the books that I am studying at the moment are;

God's Empowering Presence by Dr. Gordon Fee.

The Globalization of Pentecostalism - A Religion Made To Travel by Dempster, Klaus, Peterson.

You will find most of what you are looking for in them!

Also; See W. J. Hollenweger, The Pentecostals (1972); V. Synan, ed., Aspects of Pentecostal-Charismatic Origins (1975); R. M. Anderson, Vision of the Disinherited (1979); D. W. Dayton, Theological Roots of Pentecostalism (1987); S. M. Burgess and G. B. McGee, ed., Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements (1988); H. Cox, Fire from Heaven (1994); G. Wacker, Heaven Below (2001).

Hope this helps.


Phil Steiger said...

public theologian-Thanks for the info on JPT. I have wondered about it from time to time and hopefully I can gain access to it in the near future.

john-Thanks for the list of books-Fee is a pretty constant reference for me. The rest of the list will be very helpful!