The Spirit Poured Out on All Flesh

Pentecostalism and the Possibility of Global Theology

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"For those who are interested in the future of a theology that can emerge from the worldwide church, in the intellectual currents in Pentecostalism, and in the possibilities of imaginative ecumenical thought and activity, this book will be refreshing and invigorating, and is highly recommended."--Arun W. Jones, Interpretation

It is no secret that the Pentecostal movement has had an incredible impact on the shape of worldwide Christianity in the past century. It is estimated that Pentecostals and charismatics comprise approximately one-fourth of Christians worldwide, and the numbers are only expected to grow, especially in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. With these developments comes the need for theologians and students to understand the theological framework of this burgeoning movement.

The Spirit Poured Out on All Flesh is one scholar's attempt to develop a thoroughly Pentecostal theology and, perhaps more importantly, to bring this theology into dialogue with other theological traditions. Amos Yong outlines a pneumatological approach to soteriology, ecclesiology, theology of religions, theology of creation, and the nature of God--particularly in regard to trinitarian formulations vis-a-vis Oneness theology.
 
This volume is more than a beginning systematic theology, however. The first chapter provides a fascinating survey of worldwide Pentecostalism, examining how various theological issues and questions are being addressed "on the ground." Further, the author argues that because of Pentecostalism's global origins, its theology can be a great gift to Christianity at large, and he proposes that it can play a large role in shaping a truly global theology.


Endorsements

"Yong is one of a very few pentecostal theologians today who are seeking to understand the relationship between pentecostalism and global issues, and he is perhaps the only one to do so in a sustained manner. In this volume, Yong offers a pentecostal perspective on ecumenism, world religions, and culture with a view toward developing a distinctively pentecostal global theology. Whether one agrees or disagrees with his methodology and conclusions, Yong's contributions cannot be ignored."--Simon Chan, Earnest Lau Professor of Systematic Theology, Trinity Theological College, Singapore

"The Spirit Poured Out on All Flesh is an invigorating book. Reflecting upon global pentecostal experiences and practices, Yong has taken his pneumatological imagination to new depths of insight in his quest for a more robust trinitarian theology. The result is a multiperspectival reformulation of Christian theology that allows fresh winds of the Spirit to blow through old doctrines."--Dale T. Irvin, academic dean and professor of world Christianity, New York Theological Seminary

"Yong offers a new and comprehensive pentecostal systematic theology. Global in intent, he constructs a theology in conversation with the pentecostal base, classical and contemporary theological traditions, and the complex issues of philosophical hermeneutics and metaphysics in the postmodern world. In so doing, he manages to articulate a truly ecumenical pentecostal discourse that remains true to its pneumatological distinctive as a challenge to both the church catholic and his fellow pentecostals. Yong's voice is distinctive and not easily dismissed. Conversant with a vast array of theological sources, Yong cannot be ignored by any future pentecostal theologian nor will other Christian theologians be able to proceed as if pentecostalism lacked theological articulation. Yong stretches the pentecostal envelope by addressing such topics as a theology of creation and interreligious dialogue while reenvisioning the heart of pentecostal soteriology in the service of a pentecostal ecclesiology. In the tradition of other emancipatory theologies, Yong's work will contribute to the transformative possibilities of pentecostal praxis in reliance upon the Spirit that is a foretaste of the kingdom. In this respect, Yong, with other pentecostal theologians, has also demonstrated that rigorous theological reflection is itself a gift of that same Spirit."--Ralph Del Colle, associate professor of theology, Marquette University

"Yong is one of the most creative and promising of the young evangelical/Pentecostal theologians. He has an impressive command of the sources, indomitable energy, and a willingness to venture into new territory. This book, on a subject of increasing urgency to the whole Christian community, is his best to date. Yong is taken seriously within evangelical/Pentecostal circles and increasingly within Christian theology as a whole, so this book is sure to make a mark."--Harvey Cox, Hollis Professor of Divinity, Harvard University; author of When Jesus Came To Harvard


The Author

  1. Amos Yong

    Amos Yong

    Amos Yong (PhD, Boston University) is dean of the School of Theology and the School of Intercultural Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. He previously taught in the School of Divinity at Regent University and at Bethel University....

    Continue reading about Amos Yong

Reviews

"Amos Yong's The Spirit Poured Out on All Flesh is a wonderful book and, from my perspective, one of the most important contributions to Pentecostal and ecumenical theology published in recent years. . . . His writing draws on a broad range of theological and philosophical sources, and wrestles with complex ideas. . . . Although it is not a simple read, this is a book that should be accessible to most students of theology. . . . Yong's contribution to Pentecostalism and global theology is an orientation to the Spirit which insists on openness as opposed to prejudgement, on unity as opposed to sectarianism, on the search for truth as opposed to dogmatism. . . . Perhaps one of his most substantial contributions here is to remind us that Christian theology, while addressing concrete realities, should nevertheless be oriented to a vision of the ideal. What more can I say? Read this book!"--Shane Clifton, Australasian Pentecostal Studies Journal

"A fascinating and important work. . . . This book is to be commended for its successful articulation of Pentecostal theology. . . . Yong, like Gordon Fee, is a serious, competent theologian who rewards careful reading and deserves serious answers. Given the current propensity for shapeless, colourless evangelicalism, this work offers much more. It has become my standard work on Pentecostal theology. Bravo."--Bill Nikides, Foundations

"Amos Yong is emerging as one of the most significant theologians to come out of classic Pentecostalism. . . . [This] book is certainly his finest and most comprehensive to date. In this ambitious work he expands his horizons to embrace several major themes in systematic and philosophical theology, seeking always to relate a Pentecostal theology to the global context. . . . His ideas are fresh and creative, at times even startling and controversial. . . . The book succeeds because it is highly original and articulate. We are presented here with meticulous footnotes and a vast array of literature references--Yong appears to be familiar with most of the literature in his broad subject. The book immediately becomes an invaluable reference work for students of theology as a whole and of Pentecostal theology in particular; it deserves to be on the bookshelf of every missiologist."--Allan Anderson, International Bulletin of Missionary Research

"Yong's work presents a challenge to the church, and not because it is all that difficult to comprehend. In writing that is fast-paced and clear, it challenges both the Pentecostal movement (or movements) and the historic traditions of the church (Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Reformation) to take each other seriously as partners in theological conversation and the work of constructing theology. . . . It is evident that Yong does not mind stepping on toes, yet he does so with a humility and grace that is inviting rather than confrontational. For those who are interested in the future of a theology that can emerge from the worldwide church, in the intellectual currents in Pentecostalism, and in the possibilities of imaginative ecumenical thought and activity, this book will be refreshing and invigorating, and is highly recommended."--Arun W. Jones, Interpretation

"The oft overused term 'instant classic' is, of course, an oxymoron. To become a true classic takes time; by definition, it cannot be an instant occurrence. Still, in a less straightforward sense that a potentially classic contribution to the Pentecostal conversation seems immediately apparent, Amos Yong's The Spirit Poured Out on All Flesh may indeed be an instant classic. Whether one is interested in diverse Pentecostal origins and activities around the world, Pentecostalism's inherent ethos as a movement, or an in depth application of its underlying pneumatological theology and spirituality addressing many of the most pressing themes of our day--or all of the above--this book has something solid for you. It can be guaranteed to inform, challenge, provoke, and otherwise stimulate theological thought and praxis. Dr. Yong ably expands and extends the discussion on every topic he addresses. A prophetic tone is often discernible in the challenges he tosses out. . . . His discussions also disclose profound pastoral concerns. . . . His is not a timid description of where Pentecostalism is or may be headed, but a definitive prescription for both broad and deep progress. . . . Yong is a master synthesizer. He is particularly adept at taking apparently disparate views and demonstrating, without denying real differences, ways they might appreciate, inform, and enhance one another. . . . 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 addressed in fairly copious footnotes. . . . Readability is further fostered by especially well done organization. Well marked and cross-referenced section and sub-section headings, beginning and ending with clear, concise overviews and summaries, are helpful indeed. . . . 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."--Tony Richie, Pneuma Review

"[Yong] displays a broad grasp of other Christian thinkers. . . . His footnotes offer an extensive bibliography of Pentecostal sources, many of which will not be well known to those working out of other traditions. Indexes of Scripture references, names, and subjects facilitate the use of this volume."--James T. Connelly, CSC, Theological Studies

"Though this magnificent volume is not a systematic theology, it synthesizes more themes in a more comprehensive, global fashion than any other current work by a Pentecostal. . . . [Yong] focuses on six themes . . . developing each one thoroughly and lucidly, in dialogue with numerous writers. This rich theological feast can be digested one chapter or even subchapter at a time. . . . Drawing on Luke-Acts and a wide spectrum of theologians, Yong develops an impressive Pentecostal ecclesiology. . . . I intend [my] questions not mainly as criticisms, but as responses to the dialogue that Yong's wonderful book initiates and invites. Precisely because I find this volume so important, I hope many others will respond likewise."--Thomas Finger, Christian Century

"The author breaks new ground in positing the presence of the Spirit in aspects of the religions manifesting signs of the kingdom of God but also the absence of the Spirit where the signs of the kingdom are absent or prohibited. . . . Equally challenging is his profound engagement with the world of modern science in which he enlists the theological and philosophical insights of John Wesley. . . . The Spirit Poured Out on All Flesh is essential reading for ecumenists and theologians, pentecostal and other, throughout Asia as well as in the West."--Roger E. Hedlund, Dharma Deepika

"A landmark work. . . . This is the first time emerging constructive Pentecostal theology has been brought into a critical dialogue with mainstream theologies, including Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox traditions. . . . Yong offers exciting essays in constructive theology discussing issues such as ecclesiology, ecumenism, soteriology and the theology of religions. His exceptionally wide reading and ever-inquiring mind also tackles topics such as the relationship between science and theology and trinitarian theology. Yong is a uniquely qualified Pentecostal theologian to pursue this challenging task. . . . The scope of the book is . . . breathtaking and testifies to scholarship that is exceptionally wide and deep. . . . Yong is able to accomplish something that few Pentecostal theologians have accomplished, namely to genuinely appreciate the core values of his own movement while at the same time correcting mistakes, challenging limitations, and offering new--at times very novel--ways of enriching classical Pentecostal views. . . . Clearly this groundbreaking book is written for two audiences. It is written for ecumenists, church leaders, theologians and lay persons who want to keep in touch with the latest developments in global Christianity, and it is also mandatory reading for all Pentecostals and those interested in Pentecostal-Charismatic issues. No other book to my knowledge has the capacity to integrate the best of ecumenical voices with the wide variety of Pentecostal testimonies from all continents. . . . The present book is without peers and [is] a significant ecumenical milestone."--Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen, International Journal of Systematic Theology

"A Pentecostal theological banquet. . . . The scope of Yong's enterprise is amazingly all-encompassing, and the breadth of his sources and his grasp of Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and mainline Protestant thinkers and traditions are equally impressive. At the same time the book is well written and highly accessible, which, considering the scope of subject, is no small feat. There is a lot to be enjoyed in these essays. . . . [A] rich book."--Henk van den Bosch, Religious Studies Review