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A Globalized World. New Formation in Christianity. Ancient Church of the Roman Empire=Patriarchal form Reformation= Christocentric faith Since the 17 th century revival movements in Europe and America=Charismatic Community There is one Spirit

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new formation in christianity
New Formation in Christianity
  • Ancient Church of the Roman Empire=Patriarchal form
  • Reformation=Christocentric faith
  • Since the 17th century revival movements in Europe and America=Charismatic Community
    • There is one Spirit
    • Many spiritually endowed people with experiences of the Spirit

Pentecostal churches are not “sects,” steered by US capital and the CIA.

  • They are an independent popular movement of the poor
  • They have something to say to the whole of Christendom on earth
  • They have liberating experiences to pass on to all men and women

Pentecostal churches emerged out of revival movement

  • “Everywhere there were direct experiences of the Spirit shared by all the people involved. It was a truly democratic experience of the Spirit, without priest, tradition, and church order. This experience was called “baptism in the Spirit.” But in this spiritual baptism a personal relationship to Jesus was born: Jesus lives—Jesus heals—Jesus comes.”
  • This is what distinguishes Pentecostalism from spiritism.

Pentecostal churches are termed experiential religion. Orthodoxy in the Spirit and orthopraxis in action is followed by an orthopathy in the feelings and motivations.

  • The Pentecostal movement is everywhere a movement for healing.
  • The congregation does not just consist of hearers of the Word or onlookers at the liturgy.
  • Pentecostal Christians come from below, and from the highways and byways.

This is not a religion for the people; it is a religion of the people.

  • Whereas social-critical analyses explan why people sink into poverty, misery, and sickness, the experience of the Spirit enables people to emerge from social misery and to ascend the social ladder.
  • Pentecostalism is a missionary movement, with optimism, with the joy of the gospel, and without the judgmental spirit that condemns others.

Experiences of the Holy Spirit in Jesus’ name are not momentary experiences that come and go; they are the beginning of a permanent indwelling of the spirit. Enthusiasm is an accompanying phenomenon; the essential is faithfulness and perseverance “to the end.”


The world of spirits and the victory of the Holy Spirit: that theological idea fits in with premodern notions about the world. The world that consists of heaven, earth, and the underworld, the world of the spirits of our ancestors, of good and evil powers, witchdemonology, and the reverence for ancestors as well as the fear of them—that world accords well with the biblical world picture within which the history of Jesus and the activity of the Spirit are related.


Dispensationalism was once a salvation-history model for interpreting the Pentecostal experiences of the Spirit. In this way these experiences were linked with apocalyptic expectations of an imminent end of the world. But I think it is better to associate them with a transforming eschatology of the coming kingdom. For the experiences of the Spirit are not just fire from heaven; they are also “the powers of the age to come” (Heb. 6:5), and so “the age to come” is a universe of charismatic forces of eternal life.

the context of poor as the socio spiritual context of pentecostal charismatic christianity
The context of “poor,” as the socio-spiritual context of Pentecostal-charismatic Christianity
  • Pentecostalism is a religion of the poor, not for the poor.
  • Their “primal spirituality” is expressed in the participatory and expressive worship as well as testimony times. The very fact that the Holy Spirit chose to visit them through powerful experiences such as healings, baptism in the Spirit, prophecy, and miracles, as well as drastic conversion experiences, was in itself a social uplift.

The “outpouring” of the Holy Spirit in the early twentieth century brought several powerful paradigm shifts.

    • Self-understanding shifted drastically—from being marginalized to being conspicuously “called” for God’s ministry
    • Experiences urgency of divine call to minister, based on a strong eschatological sign for the immediate return of the Lord

Reinforced by eschatological urgency, many Pentecostal believers, often not properly trained, clergy as well as laity, men as well as women, young as well as old, devoted their lives to evangelism.

god of healing and miracles david yonggi cho
God of Healing and MiraclesDavid Yonggi Cho
  • His ministry and theology demonstrate a holistic worldview, including the physical and material aspects of human life, as much as the spiritual level. A bowl of rice and healing of terminal diseases in a poverty-stricken society are as important as the matter of sin and salvation. In the “majority world,” if the most powerful and loving God cannot heal a person, he is not as useful as the ancestor spirits on whm many have been relying for such needs. God is expected to be the savior, not only aft this life, but also during this earthly existence.
empowered for witness brother badol s story
Empowered for Witness: Brother Badol’s Story
  • The Spirit calls, empowers, and sends his people to the ends of the earth to be his witnesses. The Holy Spirit, whom they experienced through healings, miracles, and empowerment, is also expected to perform miracles and healings.
a moral imagination pentecostals and social concern in latin america
A Moral Imagination: Pentecostals and Social Concern in Latin America
  • Discrimination, neglect, and economic disparity are the norm within most Latin American countries. The masses still struggle to obtain their daily bread. Globalization and authoritarian power structures have eliminated lesser groups from participation.

Pentecostals thrive in the chaotic and disorderly paradigm shifts within modern Latin American culture and religion. They are comfortable operating independently in institutional, authoritative, and monolithic ecclesial power, and seldom hesitate to utilize resourcefully every means of communication and technology (sometimes to the extreme). Pentecostals are inclined, when the odds seemed stacked against them, to depend upon the inspiration of the Spirit to spark creative ideas that produce methods and strategies that work. In the midst of a social and economic nightmare that is daily fare for their brothers and sisters, Latin American Pentecostals, regardless of recourses or lack thereof, should do everything possible to foster a moral imagination.


Being morally imaginative means embracing a systematic and entrepreneurial approach that links a creative problem-solving process to desired outcomes. With an experiential starting point that takes seriously spiritual discernment, the supernatural, and divine empowerment, it is the imagining of a preferred future undergirded by social and theological reflection, a resolve to overcome emerging obstacles, the creation of a dynamic social action alternative.


Pentecostalism—by its democratization of religious life, promise of physical and social healing, compassion for the socially alienated, and practice of Spirit empowerment—has the ingredients for a powerful moral imagination that can address the concerns of the disinherited, frustrated, and assertive persons who oin large part make up the movement.


Minjung emerge when common people undergo-socio-cultural alienation, economic exploitation, or political oppression.

the indian pentecostal minjung in south asia
The Indian Pentecostal Minjung in South Asia
  • Two major revivals in the southern states in India took place before the twentieth century
  • Noted characteristics of the revivals
    • Indigenous leadership and negation of caste
    • Call for a liberation ofpeople oppressed by the caste system
    • The composition of Christian music by Indian believers

At Mukti, one of the most influential Christian revivals in South Indian history broke out among these deserted women and children led by the marginalized widow Ramabai.


Asian Pentecostalism in its origin represents a minjung movement of the colonized, oppressed, and poor. With the outpourings of the Holy Spirit, these powerless and hopeless Asians found hope and healing. Second, twentieth-century Pentecostalism even in its origin was already multicultural and global. It was not just a North American phenomenon; rather, at the beginning of the twentieth century, God poured out the Spirit on “all people” and all continents, including the colonized, subjugated Koreans and Indians.


The increasingly sophisticated database about the status of global Christianity shows that nearly 40 percent of the world lives in a situation where there is either no near neighbor witness in their sociocultural setting or a very small one.

main arguments in brief

Where Christian redemptive activities take place is a critical issue for those who take the Bible seriously.

    • Christians can do all the right things for the right reasons, in the right way, but if we are not doing them in the right places and among the right people, we are missing something that is very close to the Father’s heart for the world.
    • There are discernable frameworks around the planting and growing of churches, the expression of Christian social concern, and a focus on getting the Gospel to unreached people groups where no church movement currently exist.
Main Arguments in Brief

In the 21st century all the participants in global mission need to have their practice shaped by an integration of insights from these varying frames rather than seeing or treating them as competing ways of approaching the mission of the church

  • We can stay clear in our concept of missions, answer the “where” question, and best keep in step with the scriptural witness to God’s global plan when our conceptions of mission practice are drawn from the Pauline version of apostleship.
apostolic function

The rationale for a new identity is rooted in the problems associated with our current one.

    • “The primary factor that makes a person a missionary is crossing a geographic boundary, and this often includes a cultural boundary as well. After crossing this border, the missionary does all kinds of good things (pan-missionism), which often includes what are seen as “spiritual” activities (like evangelism, planting churches, and training leaders and “social” service (like helping the poor).”
Apostolic Function
two missing c oncepts

No criteria to distinguish missionary activity from the activity of regular Christians except where it takes place culturally or geographically.

    • If indeed there is no difference between what I should be doing in my own local church in my own sociocultural setting and somewhere else, there is no compelling reason to cross geographic and cultural boundaries at all
    • Local need will always overwhelm the less visible and tangible need of those different than us and who are far removed via physical or cultural distance.
Two Missing Concepts
two missing concepts

There is nothing to galvanize the positive insights of this identity to mobilize Christians to go where the church does not exist.

Two Missing Concepts
where apostolic ministry took place

Pioneer Church Planting

    • The starting point of the Early Church, their commission, was carried out in what we would today describe as pioneer settings.
    • This is important because in our setting 2000 years later, with the vast expansion of Christianity, it is easy for us to think of “proclaiming the Gospel” and planting communities of faith as an activity that happens in the context of many various (and sometimes competing) expressions of Christianity, rather than winning the first generation of disciples in places where there were none before.
Where Apostolic Ministry Took Place

Specific Callings and Specific Guidance

    • In the New Testament, there is a sense of both fluidity and specificity to the commissioning to proclaim the Gospel.
    • Paul sees himself as apostle to the Gentiles (1 Tim. 2:7, Gal. 2:7-8; Rom. 15:16) while Peter is an apostle to the Jews (Gal. 2:7-8)
    • We see natural outgrowth of the commission to make disciples of the ethne (Matt 28:18-20). The pursuit of this commission caries people across cultural and ethnic boundaries (Acts 1:8)

Paul’s zeal to preach where Christ was not known

    • Paul’s sense of identity as an apostle:
      • “It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would be not be building on someone else’s foundation.” (Rom. 15:20)

Apostolic function as missionary identity takes on paradigmatic status because it acts as a master rubric for all that we do. It covers why we do missions (for the sake of His name), where we do it (where Christ is not known), what we do (proclaim Christ and plant churches that live under God’s rule), and how we do it (by the leading and power of the Spirit, with signs and wonders confirming the Word). In the section that follows, I will explain the idea of apostolic function in further detail and examine its impact on missionary endeavors.


Apostolic function means there are some things we choose not to do.

  • Apostolic function means that all evangelism is not equal.