Tag Archives | unity

Unifying Pentecostalism | Walter J. Hollenweger

Walter HollenwegerI believe that there is something unifying in the Pentecostal movement, but it is probably not on the level of doctrine. It is a way of doing theology: experience-related, open to oral forms, ecumenical (by virtue of its many worldwide forms), and expressing itself in categories of pneumatology.

—Hollenweger, Pentecostalism, 329.

Unity and Solidarity | Ernst Käsemann

Ernst KasemannFor Paul, unity in the body of Christ does not mean the sameness of all the members; it means the solidarity which can endure the strain of the differences—the different gifts and different weaknesses of the different members.

—Käsemann, Perspectives on Paul, 3.

Party Pentecost| Frank Bartleman

Frank BartlemanEvery fresh division or party in the church gives the world a contradiction as to the oneness of the body of Christ, and the truthfulness of the Gospel.

—Frank Bartleman, Azusa Street: The Roots of Modern-day Pentecost (S. Plainfield, NJ: Bridge Publishing, Inc., 1980), 172.

Global Fracture | Frank D. Macchia

Frank MacchiaThe fact that the global church is deeply fractured is a scandal that affects the capacity of the local church to experience the Spirit in all of the dimensions of grace possible in the here and now.

—Frank D. Macchia, Baptized in the Spirit: A Global Pentecostal Theology, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2006), 210.

Unity and Excuses | C. E. B. Cranfield

Such unity will only come when Christians are humble and bold enough to lay hold on the unity already given in Christ and to take it more seriously than their own self-importance … and to make of those deep differences of doctrine, which originate in our imperfect understanding of the Gospel and which we dare not belittle, not an excuse for letting go of one another or staying apart, but rather an incentive for a more earnest seeking in fellowship together to hear and obey the voice of Christ.

—C. E. B. Cranfield, The First Epistle of Peter, 75-6.

The Theology of Paul the Apostle | James D. G. Dunn (§22)

I’m almost 37 years old. I probably started taking communion around age 13. My tradition celebrates the Eucharist monthly. That means, allowing for the odd skipped first Sunday of the month, I’ve participated in communion about 250 times. And I have to say (not just because I’m a minister) that each time is still meaningful.

I just finished reading Victor Shepherd’s Interpreting Martin Luther which included a solid chapter on the Eucharist. Now that’ I’m primed with ancient Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Calvinistic, and Zwinglian views, it’s time to hear what (Dunn says) Paul had to say about the matter.

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A Prayer for Unity

Despite the fact that we are all made in your image, God, we can see ourselves as brothers and sisters only by the light of your redeeming grace. Give us eyes to see that we are made from the same dirt, and help us work to reconcile ourselves to one another and to the ground beneath us. Amen.

—Shane Claiborne, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, and Enuma Okoro, Common Prayer: A Liturgy for ordinary radicals, 149.

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