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The Charismatic Theology of St. Luke [Paperback]

By Roger Stronstad (Author)
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Item Specifications...

Pages   104
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.48" Width: 5.53" Height: 0.31"
Weight:   0.32 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 31, 1984
Publisher   Hendrickson Publishers
ISBN  0913573116  
EAN  9780913573112  

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Item Description...
Controversial terms used in Luke-Acts have sparked this new cogent and thought-provoking study of Luke. Stronstad offers proof that significant terms used in Luke-Acts have been misinterpreted in an effort to harmonize Lukan and Pauline theology. He challenges re-examination of Luke's charismatic emphases that has been improperly viewed. Stronstad extends upon past scholarly discussion and validates his claims urging re-examination and reconsideration of the impact of Pentecost.

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More About Roger Stronstad

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Roger Stronstad (MCS, Regent College; DD, Christian Bible College) is Biblical Theology Director and Associate Professor of Bible and Theology at Summit Pacific College, Abbotsford, BC, Canada.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A Seminal Study of the Pneumatology of Luke-Acts  Apr 16, 2008
This is an important but often misunderstood (and therefore underappreciated) text on Luke's pneumatology (theology of the Holy Spirit) as revealed in the two-volume historical narrative of Luke-Acts. The title of the book needs explanation. Stronstad states in Chapter 2 that he uses the term "charismatic" in a functional and dynamic sense to mean "God's gift of His Spirit to His servants, either individually or collectively, to anoint, empower, or inspire them for divine service." The focus is on Spirit-generated service, and the servants Stronstad has in mind include faithful Jews, Jesus as the Charismatic Christ, and Christians. By "theology" Stronstad is referring specifically to pneumatology, and he states that "Luke is found to have a charismatic rather than a soteriological theology of the Holy Spirit" (page 12). He makes this statement at the end of Chapter 1 which addresses methodology for interpreting the gift of the Spirit in Luke-Acts.

Stronstad states that a "consensus methodology" must be comprised, at a minimum, of three principles: 1) Luke-Acts is theologically homogeneous, 2) Luke is a theologian as well as a historian, and 3) Luke is an independent theologian in his own right. He expounds on each. If one accepts these principles and interprets Luke's pneumatology in light of them, one will clash with some other contemporary interpretations of it. "For example, contrary to some popular interpretations, Luke's characteristic phrase 'filled with the Holy Spirit': 1) is modeled after its use in the Old Testament (LXX), 2) has the same meaning in the Gospel as it has in the Acts, and 3) has a different meaning in Luke-Acts than it has in Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians" (page 12).

Some Pentecostal Christians consider this book to be an important contribution to contemporary Pentecostal theology in terms of the baptism in the Holy Spirit. However, this can easily be misunderstood. In classical Pentecostal (CP) theology, there are two distinct questions related to Spirit baptism: 1) how does it relate to salvation, and 2) what phenomenon is the evidence of it. The CP answers that Spirit baptism is distinct from, and subsequent to, salvation and that speaking in other tongues is the initial, physical evidence of it. Stronstad's book provides support for the former, but very little, if any, support for the latter. For example, he shows that Luke uses the phrase "filled with the Holy Spirit" nine times in Luke-Acts and the evidence isn't always speaking in other tongues. In the Gospel of Luke, the phenomenon for Elizabeth (1:41) and Zacharias (1:67) being filled with the Spirit is prophecy in their native tongue, not other tongues. Also, CP theology tends to speak of one Spirit baptism (with the evidence of other tongues) but many subsequent fillings (inclusive of other evidences). Stronstad doesn't make this distinction (and apparently neither does Luke-Acts). To be filled with the Spirit is to be baptized with the Spirit (compare Acts 2:4 with 1:5). They are synonymous. Also, he says that "being filled with the Spirit is not a once-for-all experience" (page 54). This is shown by the fact that the apostles Peter and Paul were filled with the Spirit more than once (Peter: Acts 2:4, 4:8, 4:31; Paul: Acts 9:17, 13:9). Those who interpret being "filled with the Holy Spirit" as a one-time event of salvation/conversion cannot appreciate Luke's distinctive understanding and application of the experience as potentially repetitive. Also, CPs who interpret Spirit baptism as a single event evidenced by speaking in other tongues may have trouble appreciating the idea that all Spirit fillings are "Spirit baptisms" and one's first Spirit baptism may be evidenced by phenomena other than speaking in foreign tongues (for example, prophetic speech in one's native tongue).

Regardless of what position one takes on interpreting Luke's pneumatology, especially his understanding of being "filled with the Holy Spirit," Stronstad's book is an important contribution to the topic. Even Reformed theologian Walter C. Kaiser in his chapter on the Reformed perspective of the baptism in the Holy Spirit in Perspectives on Spirit Baptism: Five Views (2004), edited by Chad Owen Brand, called it "seminal" while disagreeing with it. This book is highly recommended.
Strong defense of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit  Jan 31, 2004
This short book (85 pages) is a strong defense of the subsequent experience of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, as seen in Luke-Acts, and as taught by Pentecostals. I find it interesting, that the author doesn't seem to believe (though he never flat out says so) that tongues is "the initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit." Instead, he seems to believe that any prophetic type speech (prophecy, praise, tongues) accompanies the baptism of the Holy Spirit... though he never uses famous term, "THE initial physical evidence."

This book is a must have.

My book summary for my Fuller-Seminary class  Oct 21, 2003
Luke-Acts offered an interpreted narration of the Holy Spirit's endowment of power to the early church for service, in contrast to the Pauline epistles' complementary focus on the person and ministry of Holy Spirit for the believer's salvation and sanctification. Luke-Acts' narrative of the Spirit's charismatic activity echoed those in the Old Testament. Acts' theology on the gift of the Spirit was, however, unique from the Old Testament's, in Acts' emphasis on how the Spirit's outpourings actualized the universal potentiality of the priesthood of all believers.

The office elemental to each of Israel's political-religious historical periods was charismatic; the Spirit's charismatic activities were focused successively upon Israel's founding fathers, Judges, kings, prophets, and priests. The Spirit's activities authenticated or accredited the new leadership; and the Spirit endowed appropriate skills for the new leadership's responsibilities. At Israel's national founding, the Spirit imparted craftsmanship skills, empowered national leaders, and inspired prophets. This earlier variety in the Spirit's endowments became restricted exclusively to military prowess for the Judges as charismatic warriors. At the subsequent founding of the monarchy, an outburst of charismatic activities focused on the first two kings, Saul and David. During David's hereditary dynasty, kingship lost its charismatic character, but charismatic prophets (such as Elijah, Elisha, Ezekiel) arose, calling Israel from its apostasy back to faithfulness to YHWH. The post-exilic Chronicler consistently associated the gift of the Spirit with inspired speech, especially of prophets and priests --- with the unvarying literary pattern of a mention of the gift of the Spirit followed by a report of inspired speech to imply prophetic inspiration for nonofficial prophets.

The Old Testament's vision of the Messianic age portrayed the Messiah's ministry as not merely by hereditary rights of royal or dynastic succession, but by right of divine call. The Messiah was also to be charismatically equipped for ministry. Moreover, when God was to restore his people, the Spirit of prophecy will no longer be restricted to Israel's leaders but will be universal in extent and status throughout the elect community, through the Spirit's renewal inward of each person in the community.

There, however, existed no experiential continuity of the Spirit's charismatic activities across the aforementioned historical periods. Because it was Israel's God who gave his Spirit at these key epochs of Israel's political-religious development, the continuity rested in God and not in the recipients of the Spirit. During the inter-testamental period, Judaic piety was marked by its devotion to the Law, which by nature precluded charismatic activity of the Spirit. Luke-Acts offered an interpreted report of the restoration of prophetic activity after four centuries of silence. Acts' charismatic activity of the Spirit stood in continuity with that in the Old Testament and in Jesus' ministry.

The significance of the gift of the Spirit on Pentecost was the disciples' forthcoming role as witnesses, not the profound and moving experience of tongues-speaking. The Pentecost narrative told of the eschatological transfer of the charismatic Spirit from Jesus to the disciples, like similar transfer of the Spirit in the Old Testament from Elijah to Elisha. The language in Acts 1:5,8 of "clothed with power from on high" echoed the Old Testament for Gideon, Amasai and Zehchariah. Luke-Acts' use of its characteristic phrase "filled with the Holy Spirit" is modeled after the Old Testament. By this transfer of the Spirit, the disciples became heirs and were equipped to continue Jesus' earthly charismatic ministry. In Acts, the gift of the Spirit was for service, rather than for salvation-sanctification. By this empowerment-for-service functional paradigm, rather than a salvation-sanctification oriented paradigm, the Charismatic Christ had launched the mission of the disciples rather than had created the Church on Pentecost.

Acts' theology on the gift of the Spirit was, however, unique in comparison to the Old Testament --- Acts' post-Pentecost story of the early church told of how the outpourings of the Spirit actualized the universal potentiality of the priesthood of all believers, and of how the prophetic gift of the Spirit effected the charismatic calling and equipping of these various groups for service in the gospel's advancement and being "filled with the Spirit" was both an individual and a collective phenomenon. Acts' account of Saul's encounter with the risen Lord emphasized Saul's calling for service, not his salvafic conversion. The gift of the Spirit to the disciples on Pentecost was not an isolated event, but one of several occasions both before and after the Pentecost. It was not once-for-all-time experience, but a repetitive phenomenon as for Peter and Paul.

The New Testament revealed three inter-dependent and complementary dimensions of the Spirit's activity: (1) salvation, (2) sanctification, and (3) service. The Reformation emphasized the Spirit's activity for the believer's salvation; the Wesleyan spirituality emphasized the Spirit's activity for the believer's sanctification; the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements now emphasize the Spirit's activity for the believer's service.

awesome!  Apr 23, 2000
This book is by far the best book which shows the distinct difference between classical pentecostal beliefs and the beliefs of more modern charismatic churches. In this book you get a clear picture of the spiritual gifts as God intended them to be used. With this book we have finally reached true scholarly height within the Pentecostal camp. This book boosts classical pentecostalism into the acedemic field. Roger has written an exciting yet purely biblical study of the differences between the holy spirit as Paul understands it compared to Lukes view. Both views are equally important, but also different in that Paul looks at the Holy Spirit as an indwelling prescene at our new birth while Luke looks at the Spirit's gifts to us. Overall this is an excellent book and a perfect book that shows true pentecost at its best.

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