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Showing posts from July, 2017

Scripture Index for Apostolic Theology Now Available (for Free!)

Thanks to a lot of help from my parents (I went to visit them and suggested we go out for a nice day by the lough, and they said no - you need to index your book, so let's do that instead!), the Scripture index for Apostolic Theology is finally ready. It's available here as a PDF which you can download or print out. (There are nearly 4,000 biblical references in the book, so it's an 18 page, triple-columned document.) Hopefully the Scripture index will make the book even more useful. It will probably be especially useful for pastors and preachers as they prepare sermons and Bible studies. Now that the Scripture index is ready it shows that John's Gospel is the most referenced biblical book in Apostolic Theology . And the three most cited verses in the book are Ephesians 1:3, John 1:18, and John 17:3. I'm working on an Index of Authors/Historical Documents, and after that hopefully there will also be a supplementary subject index (for things which aren

On Pentecostals and Liturgy (Part 2): But we just want New Testament Worship!

Okay, so maybe I demonstrated in the last post that early British Pentecostal worship was deliberately moving in the opposite direction from radical, innovative, cutting-edge, anti-liturgical worship (represented at that period in history by Brethrenism), and restored instead the liturgical shape (gathering-Word-Sacrament-sending) of worship in the early (post-biblical) church (as represented by Justin Martyr’s account). But, you might be tempted to think that that’s some sort of blip, or momentary aberration. After all, early Pentecostalism wanted to restore New Testament worship, didn’t it – not second-century worship with its liturgy. But, who says New Testament worship wasn’t liturgical worship? Two New Testament texts were of supreme importance for early British Pentecostals in their thinking on worship: Acts 2:42 and 1 Cor. 14:26. From one of these texts they sought freedom in worship and the leading of the Spirit, and from the other they recognised the importance of order, st

On Pentecostals and Liturgy (Part 1): Clearing Up Some Misconceptions

Modern day Pentecostals can be quick to make rash statements about the liturgy, as if it were something obviously unbiblical and unpentecostal. Their Pentecostal forefathers, however, in this country at least, just didn’t share their rash opinions. Let me show you how. When Pentecostalism emerged in the UK, it emerged against a backdrop of truly non-liturgical worship in the form of Brethrenism. Brethrenism was strong in Britian at the beginning of the 20th century, and many early Pentecostals had previously been members of Brethren assemblies. And if you talk to anyone who knows anything about classical British Pentecostal worship, you will very soon hear the words ‘of course there was a very strong Brethren influence.’ (I was having just such a conversation with the historian of the Elim Pentecostal Church just last week.) Even if you didn’t know that many early Pentecostals had been Brethren, you’d probably guess at the connection simply from a quick description of the wee