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David Courey: What Has Wittenberg to do with Azusa?

Many historic church denominations have emphasized the suffering of the cross to the detriment of the Resurrection.

As I stated earlier, as a pastor, I resonated with many of Courey’s thoughts. My PhD dissertation, “The Grounding of Paul’s Pneumatology in his Christology in 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:16” contained similar views about a theology of the cross, that would balance teachings with healing in a pastor’s ministry (Cletus Hull’s PhD Dissertation). The theologia crucis of Luther, critiques experience with his concept of the “hidden God.” Luther believes that the cross is the core existential experience for the Christian life.

A reasonable Christian theology balances the suffering and death of Christ on the cross with his miraculous bodily resurrection from the dead.

I agree with Courey that the theology of the cross is a needed corrective to the triumphalist rhetoric inherent in Pentecostalism. However, I also believe many historic church denominations have emphasized the suffering of the cross to the detriment of the Resurrection. Certainly, there needs to be more preaching on the resurrection. As Courey wrote of the Resurrection and expectant faith, this is “the genius of Pentecostalism” (p. 252). The Resurrection and empty cross embody the essence of Pentecostal faith and practice. So, let us not throw out the baby with the bath water. A reasonable Christian theology balances the suffering and death of Christ on the cross with his miraculous bodily resurrection from the dead. I submit that this scholarly teaching will lead Pentecostals to healthy pneumatic experiences that are measured by the Word of God.

Reviewed by Cletus L. Hull, III

 

Publisher’s page: https://www.bloomsbury.com/us/what-has-wittenberg-to-do-with-azusa-9780567656322/

 

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Category: In Depth, Summer 2017

About the Author: Cletus L. Hull, III, M.Div. (Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry), D.Min. (Fuller Theological Seminary), Ph.D. (Regent University), has served as a pastor with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for 30 years and psychiatric chaplain for 28 years. He also teaches courses in New Testament at Biblical Life Institute in Freeport, Pennsylvania. He has researched the growing Disciples of Christ churches in Puerto Rico and has an interest in the significance of the Stone-Campbell churches in American Christianity. His article, "My Church is a Mental Hospital" appeared in the Summer 2015 issue of Healing Line. Twitter: @cletus_hull, Facebook, www.CletusHull.com

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