OXFORD Types of Pentecostal Theology: Method, System, Spirit
In the first critical study of the major theologians of pentecostalism, one of the fastest growing and most influential religious traditions in the world, Christopher A. Stephenson establishes four original categories to classify pentecostal theologians’ methodologies in systematic/constructive theology. The four categories are based respectively on: the arrangement of biblical texts; the relationship between theology and Christian spirituality; doctrine concerning the kingdom of God; and pneumatology as a basis for philosophical and fundamental theology. Stephenson analyzes each methodological type and suggests a pentecostal theological method that builds on the strengths of each. He then offers his own, original contribution, arguing for a reciprocal relationship between pentecostal spirituality and doctrine that follows the pattern of lex orandi, lex credendi, and develops a doctrine of the Lord’s supper as a demonstration of this reciprocal relationship. Stephenson provides critical insight into such fundamental issues as the relationship between theology and philosophy, the dynamic between scripture and tradition, and the similarities and differences between recent pentecostal theology and other currents in contemporary theology.
Keywords: Pentecostal Theology, Systematic Theology, Fundamental Theology, Philosophical Theology, Theological Method, Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, Lord’s Supper