Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Teresa of Avila a Pentecostal?!

For Pentecostals, the theme of encounter involves an implicit theological realism. Rather than going deeper within, Pentecostals typically urge seekers to “get more of God” by pressing deeper into God’s reality. Therefore, in their corporate worship settings, Pentecostals strive to create the space for people to encounter and (more fittingly stated) be encountered by the God of their worship. The assumption at work is that God is available and in turn can act and surprise through a kind of “event” in which ane’s creaturehood is overwhelmed by the sheer glory of the Creator. It is no wonder, then, that many Pentecostals fall prostrate, are “slain,” shake, scream, or cry at such moments. Genuine cases of these experiences do not represent psychological contortions or expressions of pent-up frustration or despair; rather, these happenings are simply signs of a body overwhelmed by the “touch of the living God.” If Pentecostals were familiar and comfortable with the language, they could join Teresa of Avila in calling this sense of the divine “mystical theology."—Pentecostalism as a Christian Mystical Tradition, page 80

<idle musing>
Definitely! This is Pentecostal worship at its best. Unfortunately, it frequently degenerates into a "me-first" encounter. : (
</idle musing>

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