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Roger Stronstad: The Prophethood of All Believers, reviewed by Amos Yong

This book is not about Pentecostal theory, however, but about the heart, life, and mind of the Pentecostal-charismatic way-of-being-in-the-world. Now I say this even though there is only a very brief two-page section at the end of the book that addresses “contemporary relevance.” Yet these few thoughts are actually better understood as explicit statements of all the practical implications throughout the book. This is because of what is at stake is the basic difference between two paradigms of Christian living. On the one hand is the kind of individualistic, pietistic, and heart-spirituality prevalent among Pentecostals and charismatics today that is insular and self-concerned. On the other hand is the nature of Christianity in general and Pentecostal-charismatic Christianity more specifically which is communal, relational, and, most importantly for the purposes of this volume, prophetic. Now all are not called to be prophets in the model of Elijah or Amos from Tekoa. Yet the Spirit has come upon us in power so that we may be witnesses, beginning in our local neighborhoods and reaching from there even unto the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). Roger Stronstad’s book challenges us to think about how Luke’s model of what it means to be Christian should be exemplified in our lives. Stronstad’s classical Pentecostal subsequence thesis is the idea that Luke teaches a second work of grace following the salvation experience. The first work of grace he believes is best understood as the baptism or infilling of the Spirit for prophetic ministry. Now even if some among us find ourselves in fundamental disagreement, one cannot finally avoid the Lukan portrait of the prophetic character of Jesus’ and the early Church’s ministry. If this is true then the biblical text makes a claim upon our lives which we dare not ignore.

Reviewed by Amos Yong


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Category: Spirit, Summer 2001

About the Author: Amos Yong is Professor of Theology & Mission and director of the Center for Missiological Research at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena. His graduate education includes degrees in theology, history, and religious studies from Western Evangelical Seminary and Portland State University, Portland, Oregon, and Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, and an undergraduate degree from Bethany University of the Assemblies of God. He is the author of numerous papers and over 30 books. Facebook

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