This book outlines a Pentecostal theology of praxis while also providing a concrete example of how such a theology is fleshed out. By investigating various elements of Pentecostal and Liberation theologies and highlighting various similarities and differences between the two camps, John Mark Robeck constructs a framework through which a Pentecostal theology of praxis might be observed. Taking a step further, he offers a case study of three Pentecostal churches in El Salvador as an example of how such a theology is lived out. Robeck examines the lives of the pastors of these congregations, the engagement of these congregations in activities of social engagement that serve to bring about various forms of liberation, as well as the participation of the congregations and their communities in transformative actions which serve to bring about real change.
John Mark Robeck is assistant professor of theology, ethics, and culture at Vanguard University in Costa Mesa, California, and an ordained minister within the Assemblies of God.
1. Towards A Pentecostal Theology of Praxis
2. The Pentecostal Movement within the Salvadoran Context
3. Three AIC Congregations Partnering with ENLACE
4. Communication of Pentecostal Praxis
Building upon the work of Pentecostal and Catholic scholars in the field, this volume constructs a theology of praxis recognizing that the dynamic created when concrete reality and theological reflection collide turns participants into God’s agents of spiritual and social transformation.
While collaboration and communication between Pentecostals and Catholic theologians may not have been possible a generation ago, those days should be over. Truly a unique contribution towards the formation of a Pentecostal theology in Latin America, John Mark Robeck’s Pentecostal Theology of Praxis is a must read for Catholics, Protestants, and especially Pentecostals.
Is it possible to marry a Pentecostal theology of otherworldliness and the liberation theology of praxis for the marginalized of this world? Conventional wisdom says no. John Mark Robeck sets out to refute that conventional wisdom by presenting a persuasive case for a Pentecostal theology of praxis on the model of liberation theology. What is especially notable about his attempt is that this is not the abstract discussion of praxis and liberation we have heard so much about over the years but a concrete demonstration of how a Pentecostal theology of praxis is possible on the basis of a careful observation and analysis of three Pentecostal communities in El Salvador and their pastoral practices for social transformation. Here we have a fine example of a missionary theologian integrating his theological insights and pastoral experiences as a missionary into a credible Pentecostal theology of praxis. Both liberation theologians and Pentecostal Christians will benefit from reading this pioneering book in Pentecostal liberation theology. It is clearly written, insightful, and persuasive. I highly recommend it.
Whereas pentecostals criticize that liberation theology begins with the historical condition of human oppression rather than with Scripture, their starting with how the experience of the Holy Spirit makes a difference in their ordinary lives is not that different. John Mark Robeck’s book accomplishes three primary feats. First, in the area of pentecostal studies, he contributes to the history and phenomenology of Pentecostalism in El Salvador; methodologically vis-à-vis liberation theology, he illuminates how for the pentecostal faithful especially (but not only) in this country, liberative practice – including various elements of the worship service as that interfaces with community life and realities – informs theology and vice-versa, thus illuminating the hermeneutical circle; last but not least, he demonstrates the growing import of the approaches deployed by missiologists and practical theologians that not only describe emerging theologies but also provide tools for normative assessment of what churches-on-the-ground continuously generate. This volume’s theology of praxis thus names and details a broadening pathway for theological scholarship at the present time.