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Mark Cartledge: Testimony in the Spirit

Not every reader will be interested in reaping the three rewards of the book outlined above. Appreciating what the book has to offer challenges the “ordinary” reader to move toward the level of academic discourse, while the academic audience is challenged to listen discerningly to Pentecostal testimony on the ground. Neither side is readily acquainted with the other; stereotypes and misrepresentations hold grassroots testimony and academic theology at a distance. Yet, the book suggests that rescripting ordinary theology allows for recommendations for a renewed congregational praxis that is of benefit to the diverse audiences. In this sense, the greatest benefit of Testimony in the Spirit is perhaps the bridging of theological publics where church, academy, and society can engage in a joint venture that takes all sides seriously. At the same time, the book suggests that engaging Pentecostal theology is an exercise that begins on the ground and not in the academy. It is the ordinary theology of Pentecostal congregations where a fully sustained Pentecostal theology emerges. At the very least, the reader will close the book with the intention to listen more attentively to the testimonies in the Spirit as they are found every day in the various congregations, churches, assemblies, fellowships, and ecclesial bodies of the global phenomenon of Pentecostal/charismatic Christianity.

Reviewed by Wolfgang Vondey


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Category: Fall 2011, In Depth, Pneuma Review

About the Author: Wolfgang Vondey, Ph.D. (Marquette University) and M.Div. (Church of God Theological Seminary), is Reader in Contemporary Christianity and Pentecostal Studies at the University of Birmingham, UK. He is an ordained minister with the Church of God (Cleveland, TN). His research focuses on ecclesiology, pneumatology, theological method, and the intersection of theology and science.

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