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Althouse, Peter.
Spirit of the last days : contemporary Pentecostal theologians in dialogue with Jurgen Moltmann.
Ph. D. -- University of St Michael's College, 2001
Ottawa : National Library of Canada = Bibliothèque nationale du Canada, [2002]
3 microfiches
Includes bibliographical references.
Pentecostalism emerged early in the twentieth century with an emphasis on eschatology. Pentecostal eschatology has, however, passed through a series of changes. Early Pentecostals proclaimed, through the doctrine of the "latter rain," the imminent return of Jesus Christ to establish his kingdom. They believed that the Spirit would restore the charismatic gifts to the church in preparation for the coming of the Lord. Early Pentecostal eschatology was later marginalized by the rise of fundamentalist dispensationalism within the movement, but this created separatist tendencies in relation to the world. Today, some contemporary Pentecostal theologians are revisioning Pentecostal eschatology to develop a more transformative view of the kingdom and to recover prophetic elements that have been displaced by the fundamentalist apocalyptic vision. Four Pentecostal theologians have been selected as representative: Steven J. Land, Eldin Villafañe, Miroslav Volf and Frank D. Macchia. Their theologies have been partially influenced by Jûrgen Moltmann, who has made the transformative thrust of eschatological hope essential to Christian faith. A revisioning of Pentecostal eschatology is needed to recover the prophetic elements of early Pentecostalism that invite responsible social engagement in the world, and to overcome fundamentalist assumptions which crept into Pentecostal theology in its middle years. To this end, the eschatological thinking of the aforementioned Pentecostal theologians and historic Pentecostal eschatology are placed in dialogue with Moltmann's eschatology. Chapter one investigates the latter rain doctrine of early Pentecostalism and how it changed throughout the century as a more fundamentalist eschatology was adopted. Chapter two explores the revisionist eschatologies of Land, Villafañe, Volf and Macchia, who attempt to recover an authentic Pentecostal spirituality that includes a socially responsible ethic. Chapter three examines the transformative significance of Moltmann's pneumatological eschatology. Chapter four places Moltmann and the four Pentecostals in dialogue. This dialogue significantly undercuts fundamentalist tendencies within contemporary Pentecostalism by retrieving a theology that actively embraces the world. The Pentecostal theologians engage Moltmann's eschatology because its transformational and liberationist tendencies resonate with currents in Pentecostalism. They gain a theology that is more open to history and creation, and a Pentecostal ethic that is both personal and social in scope.