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A Short Review of the Society for Pentecostal Studies 2018 Conference

On Thursday morning of the SPS conference, I presented a paper on “The Liberating Spirit of the Judges” as part of three presentations on the Historical Books. Lee Roy Martin (Pentecostal Theological Seminary) chaired the session, with Reed Carlson (Harvard University) presenting “Hannah at Pentecost: On Recognizing Spirit Phenomenon in Early Jewish Literature” that moved beyond the semantic approach that focuses upon the use of ruah in the OT. David Basher (Princeton Theological Seminary) offered a paper on “Saul, A Syncretist from the Beginning? An Analysis of the Distinction between Ruah YHWH and Ruah Elohim in 1 Samuel” seeking to move toward an ontological distinction between the two uses by means of furthering the research of John Ragsdale’s PhD on the distinctions.

The Thursday evening plenary session by Leslie Copeland-Tune (Director of Ecumenical Poverty Initiative), “Ain’t That Good News?: Advocating for Justice and Reclaiming the Narrative of America’s Poor,” provided a clear call to respond in prayer and action on behalf of the poor in our midst. It served as a reminder of the many ways our structures have and continue to maintain poverty.

On Friday morning, I attended two papers on Jeremiah (chaired by David Hymes of Northwest University): Willie Wessels (University of South Africa) “To Know Yahweh is to Care for the Vulnerable” and Jared Runck (Urshan College) “Where Shall We Stand? Jeremiah 40 and Readerly Perspective in the Book of Jeremiah.” Wessels regarded specific use of mishpat in Jeremiah as connecting justice with care for the vulnerable specifically and this flowing from the character of Yahweh revealed in Jeremiah. Runck proposed a theologically coherent reading of book of Jeremiah via his reading of Jeremiah 40 and challenged the tendency of Jeremiah scholars reading the book diachronically. Both papers essentially offered avenues for engaging prophetic literature as a way to meet Yahweh through experiencing the text/s.

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Category: In Depth, Spring 2018

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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