1. Spirit Baptism and Social Action: The Pentecostal experience of Spirit baptism as a rationale for social action and mission

  • David Perry Alphacrucis College

Abstract

Abstract: Historically, the experience of Spirit baptism has fulfilled an effective function within Pentecostalism by providing the impetus for missionary work and evangelism. This impetus, or effective meaning, has usually derived from an eschatological understanding of Spirit baptism as providing the empowerment for the urgent missionary work of the church in light of the imminent return of Christ. While this makes sense within a context of eschatological expectation, the challenge to this framework comes from recent shifts within Pentecostalism towards an eschatology that is focused more on the present than on the future. The question, then, is whether the Pentecostal experience of Spirit baptism can still function as a source of effective meaning in light of these shifts? As an affirmative suggestion, this paper proposes an alternative theological interpretation of the relationship between Spirit baptism and missions or social action. If we recognize Spirit baptism as a powerful and transformative encounter with the Holy Spirit in which the love of God is poured into our hearts, then Spirit baptism may be described as a baptism into divine love. This outpouring of divine love, it is argued, can provide a rationale for evangelism and social action that is not dependent upon a particular eschatological orientation. As we receive the divine love of God in Spirit baptism, so then we can act as a conduit for that divine love to the world through evangelism and social action.

Author Biography

David Perry, Alphacrucis College
Registrar, Alphacrucis College, and Ph.D. candidate, Australian Catholic University
Published
2014-01-01
How to Cite
Perry, D. (2014). 1. Spirit Baptism and Social Action: The Pentecostal experience of Spirit baptism as a rationale for social action and mission. Australasian Pentecostal Studies, (--). Retrieved from https://aps-journal.com/index.php/APS/article/view/138
Section
Articles