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Word and Spirit at Play: Towards a Charismatic Theology [Paperback]

By Jean-Jacques Suurmond (Author) & John John Bowden (Translator)
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Item description for Word and Spirit at Play: Towards a Charismatic Theology by Jean-Jacques Suurmond & John John Bowden...

The Spirituality of a quarter of all Christians can be characterized as "charismatic." Pentecostalism itself is one of the most rapidly growing religious movements in America and abroad. Despite these facts, little serious effort has been made to develop a systematic Pentecostal theology - until now. Word and Spirit at Play is the first work to outline a theology that does full justice to the Pentecostal experience of God's Word and Spirit. Dutch scholar Jean-Jacques Suurmond, who is himself a Pentecostal, draws on two decades of work in Pentecostalism to demonstrate in a simple yet scholarly way how a charismatic approach shapes the lives of Christians and the church. Suurmond describes the history and characteristics of present-day Pentecostalism, discusses the significance of Spirit baptism to the Pentecostal life, reflects seriously on the "gifts of grace," (including tongues), and celebrates the role of "play" in Pentecostal worship. This book will be invaluable both to theologians - who have long wanted a scholarly synthesis of charismatic theology - and to laypeople, especially Pentecostals wanting to deepen their faith and other believers searching for a spirituality that opens up new sources of Christian community. JEAN-JACQUES SUURMOND is a Reformed minister in Vlaardingen, the Netherlands.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Pages   260
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.95" Width: 6" Height: 0.72"
Weight:   0.78 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 21, 1995
Publisher   Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
ISBN  0802840701  
ISBN13  9780802840707  

Availability  144 units.
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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Protestantism > Pentecostal
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Bible > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Worship & Devotion > Charismatic

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Reviews - What do customers think about Word and Spirit at Play: Towards a Charismatic Theology?

Offers Interdisciplinary theology, but lacks practicality  Jul 22, 1998
Word and Spirit at Play is by no means a "classical" Pentecostal theology. By "classical", I mean a set of doctrines and theological presuppositions that can be traced to the holiness revival of the late 19th century right through the birth of so-called Pentecostal denominations from the 1906 Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles. Suurmond does retrace this history briefly at the beginning of his book. However, he does not adequately link those experiences to the conceptual framework that he wishes to provide for global Pentecostal/Charismatic movements. He does do an excellent job in outlining a theology based on the theoretical notion of "play." He also embraces a fairly wide range of disciplines, sociology and psychology in order to explain what he believes to be the core significance of Pentecostal faith and practice. Perhaps most interesting is the emerging critical organic view of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church and in the wo! rld that he said is evolving in Europe.

What is ironic here is that Suurmond does a wonderful job invoking the intellectual tradition of those tapped into some deep-rooted sense of spirituality: John of the Cross, Martin Buber, et. al. However, it is not clear if he wants to talk about Pentecostalism or detached mysticism ultimately. Moreover, in terms that could be seen as racist and at the very least, condescending, he refers to Seymour, hundreds of years removed from Africa, as having blending the holiness revival with African retentions. He also makes vague references to "third world spirituality" as a moniker of Pentecostalism globally without intellectually or theologically clarifying what third world spirituality is.

Suurmond relies heavily on biased, anthropological studies of Pentecostalism by white/European academics and his organic construction of the Spirit is almost a rehash of Jurgen Moltmann's "The Spirit of Life; A Universal Affirmation."! ;

Suurmond has certainly provided an important synthesis ! of many areas and the "renewal" movement from which he comes in Europe has done much to provide conceptual expression for the heretofore non-intellectualized experience in prayer meetings and praise services in all types of estatic, Christian worship services around the globe.

The book is worth reading for those who have in fact embraced a Pentecostal type of Christian life, a life in which "spirit" is a sensed force or presence in one's life, but who do not wish to be constrained to Evangelical-fundamentalist understandings of the nature and work of the Holy Spirit or Charisma in the church.


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