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Charismatic Christianity

Introducing Its Theology through the Gifts of the Spirit

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What is the essence of charismatic Christianity, a renewal movement that stresses the Holy Spirit's work, the church's use of spiritual gifts, and the significance of the supernatural? Helen Collins gives a novel summary explanation drawn from the spiritual gifts. Through Scripture and doctrinal reflection, she shows that charismatic spirituality is a coherent, reasonable, and rich tradition with much to offer.

Collins demonstrates how practicing spiritual gifts embodies a distinctive theology, making these practices carriers of doctrine. Using the Acts 2 narrative, she summarizes seven key emphases and associated practices: expectancy (prophecy), enchantment (miracles), encounter (healing), expression (testimony), equality (tongues), empowerment (evangelism), and enjoyment (worship). The result is a fresh introduction that is biblical, theologically robust, and practical, helping charismatic students to learn more about themselves and others to understand the movement and what it has to contribute to global theological discussions.

A Testimony
The Aims of This Book
1. Expectancy
Acts 2:1
The Gift of Prophecy: Enacting Expectancy
Prophetic Expectancy: A Doctrine of God
The Dangers of Prophetic Expectancy
The Gift of Teaching: Framing Expectancy
Conclusion: With Patience
2. Enchantment
Acts 2:2
The Gift of Working Miracles: Enacting Enchantment
Miraculous Enchantment: A Doctrine of Creation
The Dangers of Miraculous Enchantment
The Gift of Steering: Nurturing Enchantment
Conclusion: With Peace and Goodness
3. Encounter
Acts 2:3-4
The Gifts of Healings: Enacting Encounter
Healing Encounter: A Doctrine of Humanity
The Dangers of Healing Encounters
The Gift of Helping: Enabling Encounter
Conclusion: With Love
4. Expression
Acts 2:4
The Gifts of the Utterances of Wisdom and Knowledge: Enacting Expressiveness
Wise and Knowledgeable Expression: A Doctrine of Salvation
The Dangers of Wise and Knowledgeable Expression
The Gift of Discernment of Spirits: Analyzing Expression
Conclusion: With Faithfulness
5. Equality
Acts 2:5-13
The Gift of Various Kinds of Tongues: Enacting Equality
Glossolalic Equality: A Doctrine of the Church
The Dangers of Glossolalic Equality
The Gift of Various Kinds of Tongues: Celebrating Equality
Conclusion: With Joy
6. Empowerment
Acts 2:14-41
The Gift of Faith: Enacting Empowerment
Faith-Filled Empowerment: A Doctrine of Mission
The Dangers of Empowered Faith
The Gift of Service: Humbling Empowerment
Conclusion: With Kindness and Gentleness
7. Enjoyment
Acts 2:42-47
The Gift of Encouraging Exhortation: Enacting Enjoyment
Encouraging, Exhorting Enjoyment: A Doctrine of the End
The Dangers of Encouraging, Exhorting Enjoyment
The Gifts of Giving and Showing Mercy: Grounding Enjoyment
Conclusion: With Self-Control
Interconnected and Distinctive
Unified and Ecumenical
Christian as Charismatic and Charismatic as Christian
Traditioning Charismatics
Contributing to Pentecostal Scholarship
Contributing to Global Christianity
Being Renewed
A Testimony
Appendix: Chapter Overview


"Helen Collins introduces charismatic theology through biblical and doctrinal reflections on the foundational story of Pentecost and the central experiences and practices of spiritual gifts. In this way, Charismatic Christianity celebrates the theology and spirituality of charismatic and Pentecostal movements and joins them for a global theological conversation and testimony to the church living in the power of the Holy Spirit."

Wolfgang Vondey, professor of Christian theology and Pentecostal studies, University of Birmingham

"Confessionally charismatic, as well as more broadly catholic, this book is a treasure trove of creative theological reflection and scriptural engagement. Collins offers unique lenses with which to better plumb the depths of a form of Christianity that is 'expectant, enchanted, encountering, expressive, egalitarian, empowered, and enjoyable.' Her book is a gift to scholars seeking to find ways to express the dynamics of a Spirit-filled life."

Cheryl Bridges Johns, visiting professor of Pentecostal studies and director of the Global Pentecostal House of Study, United Theological Seminary

"In writing this book, Dr. Collins has made a significant contribution to charismatic theology. It brings Luke's narrative of Pentecost into conversation with Paul's discussion of the charismata, key doctrinal themes, and the contemporary practices of the church. There is an honest assessment of the gifts and fruit of the Holy Spirit, which leads to a fresh articulation of the charismatic tradition in the life of the church. Scholars, students, and regular church members will find much to inform their minds, warm their hearts, and shape their ecclesial practices. I commend this study and look forward to using it in my own class on the person and work of the Holy Spirit."

Rev. Mark J. Cartledge, FRSA, London School of Theology

"In this valuable work, Dr. Helen Collins provides a rich yet accessible account of the practices, spirituality, and theology of charismatic Christianity. Her explanation of the key emphases of charismatic Christianity as a substantive, mature form of Christian faith will be beneficial to charismatic Christians seeking to grow deeper in their faith, to charismatic pastors and leaders seeking to strengthen discipleship in their congregations, and to academic theologians seeking to better understand and appreciate the theological gifts offered by this tradition to the Church as a whole."

Jon Stovell, theologian in residence, Vineyard Churches of Canada

"For those not typically called charismatic, this book offers an on-ramp for understanding, appreciation, and even joining. For charismatics, it models a mature spirituality that in turn inspires a fulsome ecclesiology. By reading Acts 2 along with 1 Corinthians 12 and Galatians 5, Helen Collins explains how every church is by definition a charisma-sharing body, thereby inviting all traditions to learn from the charismatic movement and to correct for the centralizing tendencies that rob people of an active interdependence. Lucid and compelling, Charismatic Christianity is a gift to the church."

Jon Coutts, associate professor of Christian theology, Ambrose University

The Author

  1. Helen Collins

    Helen Collins

    Helen Collins (PhD, University of Bristol) is vice principal academic and tutor in practical theology at Trinity College, Bristol, England. She is a charismatic movement insider and an Anglican priest. Her books include Reordering Theological Reflection:...

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