Studebaker does not present radically novel ideas, but throughout his book he clearly elucidates many themes that preoccupy contemporary Pentecostal thought. One value of Studebaker’s argument is his ability to weave these concerns together to show their interrelatedness. Additionally, he offers notable insight to see the implications of these concerns for a robust trinitarian theology. Readers who tend to follow a Barthian approach to theology, however, may find his pneuma-centric method troubling. Nevertheless, it offers a challenge, which is deserving of consideration, to the Barthian school, who emphasize beginning with Christology.
My only significant critique is that some parts of Studebaker’s book could benefit from further clarification and elaboration. For example, when addressing Evangelical theology, he doesn’t provide a thorough rationale why he mainly focuses upon Edwards’ theology. A more thorough justification of this, particularly if it provided the foundation for contemporary Evangelical thought, would have been helpful. Moreover, in chapter six and seven Studebaker does not flesh-out how these ideas help us to understand the Spirit in relation to the trinity. He advocates a method that he does not fully advance. But, ultimately, Studebaker’s book presents a provocative proposal, and many readers will find this to be a valuable window into the current state, and possibly the future, of Pentecostal theology.
Reviewed by David Bradnick