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Revisioning Pentecostal Ethics - The Epicletic Community Paperback – July 19, 2012
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This book is an important contribution to the study of Pentecostal ethics. Sensitive to Pentecostalism's history in the USA, it also draws on Wesleyan and older themes to chart a way for all Pentecostals to "be in the world" rightly. . . . It calls for Pentecostals to abide in Christ and wait in patience, arguing that by doing so, and being willing, so to speak, to "improvise" as guided by the Spirit, Pentecostals can successfully be "friends of God." William Atkinson, PhD, Senior Lecturer in Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies, London School of Theology
About the Author
Daniel Castelo (PhD, Duke University) is Associate Professor of Theology at Seattle Pacific Seminary and University, Seattle, WA, USA.
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No doubt, some readers will be unhappy with the fact that Castelo privileges the early years of the Pentecostal movement in North America. In his defense, however, he does so discerningly, owning the limitations of the methodology and the many shortcomings of the first generations. Castelo is not romanticizing or essentializing early Pentecostal spirituality, nor is he seeking merely to reify aspects of the Pentecostal past. Although he remains always gracious, Castelo's critique of the Pentecostal tradition is at certain points sharp and decisive. For example, he has nothing but disdain for the fractious divisiveness that arose within and quickly splintered the emerging Pentecostal movement, and he gives no quarter to Pentecostals' too-frequent "disparagement of others and aggrandized view of themselves" as over against other ecclesial traditions. In his judgment, Pentecostals cannot hope to be true to Christ or to themselves if they do not seek to live together in local churchly community--here the influence of Hauerwas makes itself felt--, allowing their lives to be reordered by the rhythms and cadences of an alter-native kingdom and its values.
This work is in my estimation a significant achievement, one that deserves the careful attention of Pentecostal students, scholars, and practitioners----in the church as well as in the academy. Castelo writes in a learned but accessible style, and his criticisms are delivered graciously and constructively. In his own conclusion, Castelo expresses his desire for Pentecostalism to be marked always in the future by "a species of eccentricity that is driven by an insatiable desire and passion to see, befriend, and delight in the triune God of Christian confession." Without question, this book is marked by just that kind of eccentricity, and for all of its merits it is that for which I am most thankful.