Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Foundations of Pentecostal Theology is an excellent resource for ministers or theologians of either Trinitarian or Oneness Pentecostal traditions. It is one of the newer additions to my Libronix system. If you do not have Libronix click here to learn more. In the introduction Jack W. Hayford comments that "It is a practical book, featuring systematic theology in a form which is readily adaptable to nourishing the flock of God."(FPT) The authors, Guy Duffield and Nathaniel Van Cleave have "equally distinguished themselves as pastors, preachers, college professors, lecturers and writers."(FPT)
Logos.com describes this resource, "The one-volume reference is the culmination of Dr. Guy P. Duffield and Dr. N. M. Van Cleave’s life studies of the Pentecostal movement."(FPT) Hayford also notes that this resource is Pentecostal "because all truth must be made alive by the Holy Spirit in order to be reproductive, and refreshing...the quality inherent in this volume is that same trait which enabled Peter to rise with a text from Joel in hand, and to infuse it with contemporary relevance. The Holy Spirit wants to speak to today, and the vitality of the Spirit manifest herein makes ancient verities throb with life."(FPT)
This work is unique in systematic theology resources. For example, in the chapter on divine healing it is clear to these authors that the days are miracles are not past. Duffield and Van Cleave conclude that "One of the strongest arguments in favor of the continuance of miracles is that they did in fact continue, according to some of the most revered saints and writers of Church history."(FPT)
The theological tendencies of this resource are conservative. For example, in the preface the authors suggest, "The Pentecostal movement is not just based on an inspirational experience. It is grounded upon the entire Bible as the Word of God."(FPT) In chapter one--The Doctrine of the Scriptures--the authors affirm Inspiration and Inerrancy of Scripture.
Chapter ten is The Doctrine of Last Things. In this chapter the authors discuss Death, The Intermediate State, The Second Coming of Christ, and The Tribulation. The authors also take a futurist eschatological view, a view most commonly held in Pentecostal traditions. The section on the Second Coming of Christ begins with a quote from the Foursquare "Declaration of Faith" by A.S. McPherson. The authors emphasize the importance of His coming. They suggest that Christ's Coming is "mentioned more than 300 times" in the New Testament or "once in every twenty five verses."
As usual with Libronix resources, each Scripture reference or other references cited by the authors in Foundations of Pentecostal Theology are also linked and highlighted. This allows you to open those resources or view the Scriptures or citations. The organization and arrangement of the resource is also very helpful in navigating through this resource. Any Pentecostal student of the Scriptures will want to obtain this resource.
Click the link below to add this resource to your library.
FPT: Guy P. Duffield and Nathaniel M. Van Cleave, Foundations of Pentecostal Theology (Los Angeles, CA: L.I.F.E. Bible College, 1983).
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Click here to go to author's blog and purchase paperback or click here for Amazon Kindle.
Early in this work John Calvin Carroll suggests, "It may be easier for the pagan to give up lawlessness than it is for the religious to give up law." (Carroll, pg. 19) Perhaps, this sums of the plight of some in the Apostolic movement. In the work Are You A Christian? Carroll offers a concise and practical perspective on the beliefs and lifestyle of the believer.
In over 130 pages and eight chapters Carroll offers good answers for Apostolic beliefs and lifestyle. The author does not advocate redefining Christian doctrines. Rather, he challenges the way we think about them and what you or I might perceive as Apostolic doctrine.
This work contains a forward and includes such chapter titles as "What is a Christian?"; "The Christian Claim"; "Do You Worship Jesus Christ?"; "Secondary Labels"; "Defining Heresy"; "The Christian and Conscience"; "Law and the Traditions of Men" and "Moving Forward. In chapter one Carroll asks the question "What is a Christian?" Here he discusses what it means to "follow Christ" and where we follow Christ. Carroll notes, "The Christian follows Christ away from, through and to anywhere He leads. He trusts in Christ’s love and direction for his life. To truly follow Christ one must forsake, follow and finish." (Carroll, pg. 16)
In chapter two "The Christian Claim" is examined. Christians do not claim to have it all figured out and nor do they claim to be perfect. As Carroll notes, "we are frail and flawed, yet all the while confessing that there is hope in Jesus Christ." (Carroll, pg. 22) Hope in humanity is often misplaced but hope in the Creator is a safe place.
In chapter three Carroll asks the poignant question "Do You Worship Jesus Christ?" Of all the things it may mean to be a follower of Jesus Christ it does include that we worship Him. He is not just a good man, or a prophet who got it right. John 5:23 indicates that "all men" are to honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. Therefore, how we honor the Father is just how we honor the Son which includes worship of the Son as God.
Chapter four is entitled "Secondary Labels" and here the author warns against teaching things as Apostolic that are not, after all, Apostolic. He also discusses how we are to determine what is Apostolic to avoid this and continue teaching sound Apostolic doctrine. Carroll notes, "As leaders and fathers we should be more concerned with presenting our followers and families to Christ than we are with presenting them to our friends." (pg. 51)
Click here to go to author's blog or Twitter and purchase paperback or click here for Amazon Kindle.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Davidson has a M.A. cum laude from Bethel Seminary majoring in Church History. Davidson gives thanks to God, his wife and his Jewish parents for helping him through Seminary. He also thanks professor of Church History, James Smith III, ThD, at Bethel for his guidance and counsel.
The book is just a little over 133 pages which should not be intimidating for the novice but at the same time welcoming to the expert. Davidson outlines the development of the Trinity in three parts: Part One: The New Doctrine Is Introduced, Part Two: The New Doctrine Is Established and Part Three: The New Doctrine Is Mandated. The author also covers the period after the Apostles (Clement of Rome, Ignatius, Polycarp) and discusses the New Doctrines Terminology: The Creeds.
The Trinity develops from the Deity of Christ, Deity of the Holy Spirit and then a definitive formulation. Oneness Pentecostals affirm that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are God. This is Biblical doctrine. The definitive formulation of the Trinity is not and this is where the controversy enters.
Davidson also has a section on the terminology or words used to make sense of the "new doctrine". As he points out, "They can be found so common in Christendom that we would assume them to be in the Scriptures." (Davidson, pg. 105) Terms discussed are: "God the Son", "God the Holy Spirit", "Eternal Son", "Co-equal" and "Co-eternal". The author also points out that the locution "God in three persons" was "not used by the church "fathers" until Augustine...This set of words was most likely made famous by the hymn, "Holy, Holy, Holy," written by Reginald Heber in 1826, and with music added by John Dykes in 1861." (Davidson, pg. 122-123)
In Part One Davidson discusses the introduction of the "new doctrine". The formulation of this doctrine begins with the Greek Apologists (AD 130-180) which imagined a God that was transcendent and impassible. Vergilus Ferm, PhD notes that the "Apologists represented, on the whole, non-Jewish Christian converts trained to think in Hellenistic terms." (Ferm, pg. 145)
In Part Two the author examines the contributions of Iraenaeus, Tertullian, Clement, and Origen. He also concisely discusses modalism, the Council of Nicea, Council of Constantinople, the Pre-existence of Christ, and the contributions of the Cappodocians in this section. Davidson accurately notes that through the Cappodocians "the major trinitarian concepts took root." (Davidson, pg. 81) In Part Three the book examines the work of Augustine and the Athanasian creed.
1) Davidson, Glen (2012) The Development of the Trinity : The Evolution of a "New Doctrine" Hazelwood, MO : Pentecostal Publishing House
2) Vergilius Ferm, A History of Philosophical Systems (New York: The Philosophical Library, 1950), 145