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Reading The Spirit Poured Out on All Flesh is an exciting adventure well worth undertaking. Enjoyment is enhanced in that this is a most readable work. Without sacrificing substance, Yong avoids a pedantic tone and keeps the pace of the text moving along briskly. More advanced scholarly subtleties are adequately theology of nature, is the most obtusely abstract, addressing “the triadic, social, realistic, and semiotic metaphysics of experience” in “a viable framework for interpreting creation, the scientific enterprise, and God for our late modern environment” (p. 302). Yet a crisp, groundbreaking pneumatological theology of nature confronting traditional dualisms and dichotomies of nature-spirit, natural-supernatural, or reason-experience is gripping even here.6  As a matter of fact, the philosophical framework of the entire book’s “dynamic, holistic, and multidimensional soteriology” and “ecumenical, sacramental, and charismatic ecclesiology” (p. 294) is finally here declared most forthrightly. Readability is further fostered by especially well done organization. Attention-getting and attention-directing chapter titles and well marked and cross-referenced section and sub-section headings, beginning and ending with clear, concise overviews and summaries, are helpful indeed. One wishes for a fuller subject index. Overall, Amos Yong has accomplished a most difficult task: writing a deep book with a wide appeal. Most importantly, it has worldwide applicability. Anyone interested in anything about today’s developing Pentecostalism will want to read it. It will make an exceptional textbook for scholars and students.

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Notes

1. For an excellent recent survey of various major views regarding Spirit baptism see Perspectives on Spirit Baptism: Five Views, ed. Chad Owen Brand (Nashville: Broadman, 2004). “Spirit Baptism: A Pentecostal Perspective,” pp. 47-104, by Stanley M. Horton, presents the traditional classical Pentecostal viewpoint. “Spirit Baptism: A Dimensional Charismatic Perspective,” pp. 105-80, by Larry Hart, presents a viewpoint with several similarities to that of Yong’s though Yong is more purposely Pentecostal.

2. For a good introduction on the issues at stake, esp. regarding Spirit baptism and initial evidence, see Robert W. Graves, “The Speaking in Tongues Controversy: A Narrative Critical Response, Part 1 of 2″, The Pneuma Review 8:4 (Fall 2005): pp. 6-23.

3. See Tonie Richie, “Transposition and Tongues: Pentecostalizing an Important Insight of C. S. Lewis”, Journal of Pentecostal Theology 13:1 (October 2004), pp. 117-37 (esp. pp. 127-29) for my exploration of this issue.

4. M. Thomas Thangaraj’s Relating to People of Other Religions: What Every Christian Needs to Know (Nashville: Abingdon, 1997) is a good little book for getting an introductory grip on inter-religious relations. Sir Norman Anderson, Christianity and World Religions: The Challenge of Pluralism (Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1984) is an Evangelical standard bearer on the subject.

5. For more on Yong’s theology of religions see Tony Richie, “Review of Amos Yong, Discerning the Spirit(s): A Pentecostal-Charismatic Contribution to Christian Theology of Religions“, Journal of Pentecostal Theology Supplement Series 20 (Sheffield, Eng: Sheffield Academic Press, 2000), 392 pages, The Pneuma Review, 8:4 (Fall 2005): pp. 68-71.

6. Elsewhere Amos Yong suggests dialogue between religion and science is “one of two essential conversations” for Pentecostals and other Christians today (the other being between the Christian faith and the world’s religious traditions), “Academic Glossolalia? Pentecostal Scholarship, Multi-Disciplinarity, and the Science-Religion Conversion,” Journal of Pentecostal Theology 14:1 (October 2005): pp. 61-80 (65, fn. 7).

Originally published on November 6, 2006. The shorter review was published in the print edition of Pneuma Review in the Winter 2007 issue.

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About the Author: Tony Richie, D.Min, Ph.D., is missionary teacher at SEMISUD (Quito, Ecuador) and adjunct professor at the Pentecostal Theological Seminary (Cleveland, TN). Dr. Richie is an Ordained Bishop in the Church of God, and Senior Pastor at New Harvest in Knoxville, TN. He has served the Society for Pentecostal Studies as Ecumenical Studies Interest Group Leader and is currently Liaison to the Interfaith Relations Commission of the National Council of Churches (USA), and represents Pentecostals with Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation of the World Council of Churches and the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs. He is the author of Speaking by the Spirit: A Pentecostal Model for Interreligious Dialogue (Emeth Press, 2011) and Toward a Pentecostal Theology of Religions: Encountering Cornelius Today (CPT Press, 2013) as well as several journal articles and books chapters on Pentecostal theology and experience.

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