The Mediation of the Spirit | Mark J. Cartledge

The cover of Cartledge's The Mediation of the SpiritMark J. Cartledge straddles two worlds. On the one hand, he is a Pentecostal/Charismatic (P/C) scholar, a member of the Society for Pentecostal Studies. On the other hand, he is a member of the Academy of Practical Theology. In his entry in Eerdman’s Pentecostal Manifestos series, Cartledge brings his worlds into dialogue by offering a P/C perspective on practical theology.

Cartledge’s argument centres on the concept of mediation. After identifying a desperate lack of substantive scriptural engagement in the field of practical theology, he takes a close look at the Spirit-reception texts in Acts, uncovering five different forms of mediation (109):

  1. “Christ mediates the Holy Spirit to the church.”
  2. “The Holy Spirit mediates Christ and the Father to the church.”
  3. “Creation mediates the Holy Spirit to the church.”
  4. “The church mediates the Holy Spirit internally (via individuals, groups, worship, and practices).”
  5. “The church mediates the Holy Spirit externally (via individuals, groups, public worship, and practices).”

Cartledge then applies this understanding of mediation in two different ways. On a practical level, he reviews a congregational study by Mary McClintock Fulkerson, identifying ways the study could be improved through a deeper understanding of mediation. On an academic level, he uses his understanding of mediation to challenge the weak soteriology which exists in the field of practical theology.

The Mediation of the Spirit functions on two levels. Cartledge first provides a valuable addition to P/C studies and practical theology through his scriptural understanding of mediation. On a more theoretical level, he uncovers some systemic oversight in the field of Practical Theology and marks the trail for P/C scholars to continue to contribute to the field of practical theology.

—Mark J. Cartledge, The Mediation of the Spirit: Interventions in Practical Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2015).

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