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The 2016 Society for Pentecostal Studies Convention in Review

Néstor Medina

Néstor Medina gave a spirited response to both Ken and Chris. He contended that a Pentecostal school should be clarified as one form of a multiplicity of Pentecostalisms with emphasis upon the plurality within the broad notion of what makes one “Pentecostal”. He further noted that it was in the first years that the various groups were segregated. He also contended against the interpretive triad of the Cleveland School of Spirit, Scripture, and Community (a book being written with that title by Ken Archer) as failing to account for cultural contexts which are particularized variously and not reflecting the broader scope of Pentecostalisms. He also argued that there is a lack of focus on where Pentecostals are going if social political and cultural contexts are what is informing this “School” and if this “School” should be determinative of what it means to be “Pentecostal”. He asked whether the “Cleveland School” might take action to actually make a difference in the world. In response to Chris Green, Néstor questioned the speculative nature of Chris’s theses. He challenged Chris on the relation of the divine and human natures of Jesus. He further suggested that Chris give precedence to the divine over the human, to John’s gospel over the Synoptics.

Later on Thursday, I attended one of the Biblical Studies Interest Group sessions. This one was on The Writings and Prophecy.

Camilla Belfon

Camilla Belfon presented on the role of memory in the reFormation of the Yehud. Sadly I missed the first half of her presentation, but in the second half she addressed the issues of how one might hear the relation of marrying the “foreigner” in earlier texts and in Ezra and Nehemiah. The move from acceptance to trying to identify who belongs and who does not played a significant role in the identity of reconstituted Yehud.

Isaac Lund

Following Camilla, Isaac Lund examined the continuity between the minstreling prophets of the pre-exilic period (in 1 Samuel) to the Sons of Asaph in Chronicles. He proposed that the Levitical singers replaced the prophetic band of the earlier period and inquired whether the prophetic office had passed to the Levites?

Matthias Wenk

Matthias Wenk presented the closing paper of that session by asking whether we should differentiate so sharply between OT and NT prophets and prophecy? He contended that the heart of Israel’s prophetic tradition was remembrance of God’s deeds rather than simply declaring what might be in the future. He further pointed to the NT context of 1 Corinthians 1-2 where he demonstrated the New Exodus motif as central to NT prophetic ministry. He posited that Christian kerygma and pneumatic revelation belong together. In essence he contended that prophecy is not simply inspiration, but memory.

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Category: In Depth, Winter 2016

About the Author: Rick Wadholm Jr., Ph.D. (Bangor University, Wales, UK), is Associate Professor of Old Testament at Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. Rick has pastored several rural congregations in North Dakota and Minnesota for 22 years and is ordained with the Assemblies of God (USA). He is a regular speaker for churches, camps and conferences. He enjoys reading and discussing theology and Biblical Studies, most particularly the works of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Karl Barth. Rick is an active member of the Institute for Biblical Research, the International Bonhoeffer Society, the Society of Biblical Literature, the Society for Pentecostal Studies, and was the Executive Editor of The Pentecostal Educator published by the World Alliance for Pentecostal Theological Education (2013-2019). Rick is author and editor of numerous articles and books. He has helped found the Society for Pentecostal Studies Student Caucus. He also enjoys blogging on topics of translation, Biblical studies, pastoring and theology by contributing to four different blogs—his personal blogging adventures hosted at Facebook. Twitter.

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