“Can anything orthodox come from Pentecostalism?”
This recasting of Nathaniel’s familiar question from the Gospel is a fair summary of many modern Christians' assessment of the Pentecostal tradition. Yet in recent years, a growing number of Pentecostals have been turning afresh to the ancient, creedal Christian faith.
Bishop Emilio Alvarez has himself been at the forefront of this movement. In Pentecostal Orthodoxy he introduces the phenomenon, and extends the project of paleo-orthodox ressourcement (associated with scholars such as Thomas Oden and Robert Webber) to include orthodox expressions within Pentecostalism, particularly his own Afro-Latino Pentecostal movement. This book is a manifesto of sorts, promising not only to open up the possibility of a genuinely orthodox Pentecostalism, but to reframe modern ecumenical dialogue as well.
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The emergence of modern Pentecostalism at Azuza Street promised an ecumenism of the church that cut across the color line but which fulfillment has been derailed in North America at least by the history of racism in this country. The emergence of a ‘Pentecostal orthodoxy’ over the last fifty years—catalyzed vigorously by the Chicago Call (to evangelicals in 1977), the paleo-orthodox movement (Thomas Oden), ancient-future Christianity (Robert Webber), and other initiatives—promises an even more authentically charismatic and ever more radically renewed ecumenism of the Spirit that binds together not just those from every nation under heaven but also churches across the last two millennia of African, Orthodox, Catholic, and Reformation/Anglican traditions! Come Holy Spirit—be poured out again on all peoples, languages, and cultures/ethnicities for the twenty-first-century church’s witness!
—Amos Yong, professor of theology and mission at Fuller Seminary
Pentecostal Orthodoxy opens a new chapter in ecumenism, Pentecostalism, and world Christianity. The breadth and depth of its scholarship is extraordinary. With integrity and passion, Emilio Alvarez has demonstrated that an authentic recovery of the Great Tradition opens up the renewing power of the Spirit for all streams of Christian faith today.
—Dale T. Irvin, professor of world Christianity at New School of Biblical Theology and adjunct in theology and religious studies at Georgetown University
Let’s be honest, when most people think of Pentecostals, orthodoxy is not the first thing that comes to mind. For many of us, these words represent a paradox. However, as Bishop Emilio Alvarez successfully demonstrates, orthodoxy and Pentecostalism do belong together. He documents a movement where the Spirit is leading thousands of Pentecostals to defy this false dichotomy and rediscover the Great Tradition for today. Alvarez is on the forefront of this movement and has written an essential manifesto for the church, calling for Pentecostals to embrace Christian orthodoxy. More than that, he paints a hopeful picture of the future of the church as one that is historically rooted and modern; orthodox and gracious; unified and diverse; sacramental and open to the Spirit. This book is a major resource for anyone wanting to know about one of the most exciting things that the Spirit is doing in the church today.
—Winfield Bevins, author of Liturgical Mission: The Work of the People for the Sake of the World
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