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Pentecostals and the World: Reflections on the 2015 Society for Pentecostal Studies Convention

Finally, as the immediate SPS past president, Southeastern University Professor of Theology Dr Kenneth Archer, delivered the presidential address. Reflecting his past and ongoing work towards developing a Pentecostal theological hermeneutic that recognizes the role that diverse reading communities play towards the making of theological meaning, his address was titled, “Pentecostal Hermeneutical Communities: Reading and Hearing in one Spirit.”

The 2015 Student caucus.

During the Saturday evening conference banquet, Dr. Archer presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr Frank Macchia, Professor of Theology at Vanguard University in Costa Mesa, California. Affiliated with the Assemblies of God, Dr Macchia was for a decade the senior editor of Pneuma: The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies. He has been a highly decisive Pentecostal voice in the development of Pentecostal global theology, and has been actively instrumental in various ecumenical dialogues worldwide. Dr. Macchia has written numerous essays for books and journals. His two most notable published books are Baptized in the Spirit: A Global Pentecostal Theology (Zondervan, 2004), and Justified in the Spirit: Creation, Redemption, and the Triune God (Eerdmans, 2010).

The 2016 SPS convention: “Worship, the Arts and the Spirit.”

Moving forward, the theme for next year’s SPS Annual Meeting will be “Worship, the Arts and the Spirit.” Hence, the 2016 conference will address the meaning of worship, the role of the Spirit in community formation, and the place of the arts within Pentecostalism. Paper proposals may be submitted to the SPS website (www.sps-usa.org) until the June 30, 2015 submission deadline. The meeting will be held March 10-12, 2016, at Life Pacific College in San Dimas, California. Life Pacific College is a Foursquare institution. Meanwhile, the new SPS 2015-2016 president is Dr Michael Wilkinson, Professor of Sociology at Trinity Western University, in Langley, British Columbia, Canada.

 

 

Personal reflection

I will close with some further reflection on my own involvement with the 2015 SPS conference. Through this event I once again found my Pentecostal identity renewed, sharpened, and more deeply solidified. On one hand, my own paper delivery (“Translating Pentecost into Salvation Praxes”) and the discussion it generated on the theme of global grass-roots ecumenical engagement, was itself instrumental towards this profound awareness. Yet also decisive was how throughout the conference, I was consistently inspired through the many sessions I sat in and what I felt were often providently orchestrated conversations—including encounters with delegates at the Tampa airport just prior to my departure from Florida. Hence, I was deeply inspired by these engagements with this powerful mix of ministry practitioners, apostolic influencers, and godly theologians, all committed to the renewing of the Church Catholic worldwide—within its many gifted streams and traditions.

I thus sense again a growing awareness of providential connection and destiny with this global network. I thus left the conference with what remains a sustaining conviction that God will be sending me to the 2016 meeting. I am thus currently preparing a paper proposal for the 2016 meeting in San Demas, California.

Therefore, I am moreover again renewed with a profound consciousness that I along with millions worldwide, am entrusted with the Pentecostal vision of Jesus as Saviour/Sanctifier, Spirit-Baptiser, Healer and Coming King. I am all the more impassioned towards seeking the blossoming of Pentecostal spirituality and theology worldwide—in service towards the global Church and the coming of God’s kingdom.

From the Father
Come Spirit of Jesus;
Lord, Giver of Life—
Come heal creation.

Monte Lee Rice
8 May, 2015

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Category: In Depth, Spring 2015

About the Author: Monte Lee Rice is a Pentecostal minister based in Singapore who served in churches and Bible colleges as a pastor, church planting director, and theological educator. He has ministered within some 15 nations in Southeast Asia and Africa, and graduated from Asia Pacific Theological Seminary with a M.Div. in theology (summa cum laude, 2002). He is an independent scholar in Pentecostal theology, co-administers the Pentecostal Theology Worldwide Facebook group, and is impassioned towards the global renewing of Pentecostal spirituality, its theological tradition, and its ecumenical promise for the Church worldwide. Visit his blog at: MonteLeeRice.wordpress.com. LinkedIn Twitter: @MonteLeeRice.

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