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Effectively Engaging Pluralism and Postmodernism in a So-Called Post-Christian Culture


6 Although, as the title suggests, Newbigin is more directly concerned with pluralism, he definitely interacts with postmodern concepts and addresses post-Christian conditions. In this review essay I sometimes address one strand or another of this triad with assumptions of their interrelatedness in mind.

7 Though coming from a different direction heavily utilizing Pentecostal/charismatic spirituality and theology, Amos Yong arrives at a surprisingly similar position. See Amos Yong, Discerning the Spirit(s): A Pentecostal-Charismatic Contribution to Christian Theology of Religions JSup 20 (Sheffield, Eng: Sheffield Academic, 2000).

8 Cf. John D. Zizioulas, Being as Communion: Studies in the Personhood of the Church (Crestwood, NY: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1985).

9 Kenneth J. Archer, A Pentecostal Hermeneutic for the Twenty-First Century: Spirit, Scripture, and Community (London: T & T Clark, 2004).

10 See Tony Richie, “Azusa-era Optimism: Bishop J. H. King’s Pentecostal Theology of Religions as a Possible Paradigm for Today,” Journal of Pentecostal Theology 14:2 (April 2006), 247-60.

11 David Tracy, “The Many Faces of Postmodernity,” Readings in Modern theology: Britain & America, ed. Robin Gill (Nashville: Abingdon, 1995), 225-35 (234-35).

12 See “Christ,” Martin D. Hinten, The C. S. Lewis Readers’ Encyclopedia, editors, Jeffrey D. Shultz and John G. West, Jr. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1998), pp. 113-14.

13 See Brian D. McLaren’s <em>A Generous Orthodoxy: WHY I AM A missional+ evangelical+ post/protestant + liberal/conservative + mystical/poetic + biblical + charismatic/contemplative + fundamentalist/calvinist + anabaptist/anglican + methodist + catholic + green + incarnational + depressed-yet-hopeful + emergent + unfinished CHRISTIAN (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2004).

14 Cf. “Emerging church movement” at As I’ve sometimes heard, the problem with being a bridge is that one gets walked on from both ends!

15 E.g., D. A. Carson, author of On Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005), after a debate with Australian emergent Christians in September of 2006.

16 See Bevins, “Retro Faith,” Pneuma Review (Spring 2007), 37-40.

17 Cf. “Emerging church movement.”

18 See Justo L. González, A History of Christian Thought: From the Reformation to the Twentieth Century vol. III, revised edition (Nashville: Abingdon, 1987), 86-88.

19 This section is based on insights shared with me through a series of email exchanges (May 23, 26, and 28, 2007) with Douglas F. Olena, Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at an Assemblies of God school, Evangel University, in Springfield, MO. Doug recommends another Pentecostal, Earl Creps, Off Road Disciplines: Spiritual Adventures of Missional Leaders (Jossey-Bass/Leadership Network, 2006), for further reading on postmodernism (especially as it intersects with the emerging church movement).

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Category: Fall 2007, Ministry

About the Author: Tony Richie, D.Min, Ph.D., is missionary teacher at SEMISUD (Quito, Ecuador) and adjunct professor at the Pentecostal Theological Seminary (Cleveland, TN). Dr. Richie is an Ordained Bishop in the Church of God, and Senior Pastor at New Harvest in Knoxville, TN. He has served the Society for Pentecostal Studies as Ecumenical Studies Interest Group Leader and is currently Liaison to the Interfaith Relations Commission of the National Council of Churches (USA), and represents Pentecostals with Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation of the World Council of Churches and the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs. He is the author of Speaking by the Spirit: A Pentecostal Model for Interreligious Dialogue (Emeth Press, 2011) and Toward a Pentecostal Theology of Religions: Encountering Cornelius Today (CPT Press, 2013) as well as several journal articles and books chapters on Pentecostal theology and experience.

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