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Highlights from European Pentecostal Theological Association 2002

The 24th annual EPTA (European Pentecostal Theological Association) conference was held on the campus of Continental Theological Seminary, located in Sint-Pieters Leeuw, Belgium – just a few miles outside the city of Brussels. More than 60 individuals attended the conference.

The EPTA meeting in 2014.

The conference theme, “Pentecostal Education in the 21st. century: Promises and Challenges”, was initiated by special guest speaker Dr. Allan H. Anderson from Birmingham University. His paper, on “Pentecostal-Charismatic Spirituality and Theological Education in Europe from a Global Perspective”, was, as he himself noted, “an extensively modified version of his keynote paper given at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Pentecostal Studies, Oral Roberts University, Tulsa, Oklahoma, March 2001, and published as “The Fury and Wonder ? Pentecostal-Charismatic Spirituality in Theological Education”, Pneuma: The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies 23:2, Fall 2001, 287-302. Two quotations from Dr. Anderson’s excellent paper follows:

A serious and extensive revision of Pentecostal history needs to be done, in which the enormous contributions of the as yet unnamed indigenous pioneers is properly recognized, so that US American classical Pentecostals in particular shed their often-heard assumption that Pentecostalism is a made-in-the-USA product that has been exported to the world.Western theological educators should themselves be given thorough exposure to the contexts in which they work, in which the agenda is set by local people. They should first and foremost be learners, where they can listen to local concerns before presuming to teach. This probably means that before educators or missionaries from North America and Europe in other continents begin their work, they should first be apprenticed to local ministers and be thoroughly exposed to the local context. Through serving people in humility over an extended period of time, intercultural workers will learn many vital lessons that several years in theological seminaries back home did not teach, and this will be much more effective.

The next paper, on “Would Jesus have sent his disciples to Bible College today?” was presented by JEPTA (the Journal of the Evangelical Pentecostal Theological Association) editor Dr. Keith Warrington of Regents Theological College, UK. Additional papers included:

  • “Decentralised, practical training vs. centralised, traditional Bible College” by Dr. Neil Hudson
  • “Do we need a distinct Pentecostal approach to education in Europe” by Dr. Matthias Wenk
  • “The early Church and the axis of history in Pentecostalism facing the 21st. century: Some Reflections” by Marc Turnage
  • “Training for Missions – Anthropological Insights” by Dr. Jan-‘ke Alvarsson
  • “Training national Leaders with English Text books” by Tanja Petrova

The European Pentecostal Theological Association is an inter-denominational academic and theological society. For more information about the EPTA, visit the EPTA website at: www.eptaonline.com/.

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Category: Ministry

About the Author: Geir Lie is an educator and archivist of Northern European Pentecostal history. Geir was the editor of Refleks: med karismatisk kristendom i fokus (from Scandinavian and English speaking authors) throughout its publication life, 2002 through 2009 (1:1; 1:2; 2:1; 3:1; 4:1; 4:2; 5:1; 5:2; 6:1; 7:1; 8:1). He is the author of E.W. Kenyon Cult Founder or Evangelical Minister (Refleks Publishing, 2003) and editor of Norsk pinsekristendom og karismatisk fornyelse: Ettbinds oppslagsverk (Norwegian Pentecostalism and Charismatic Renewal: One-Volume Dictionary, Refleks Publishing, 2007). See also his article, "E.W. Kenyon and Dispensationalism" that appeared in the January 2008 issue of Cyberjournal for Pentecostal-Charismatic Research.

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