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Common Witness Between Catholics and Pentecostals1

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For many years, Christians in the Pentecostal and Catholic traditions have been involved in a kind of border war, complete with territory disputes and border skirmishes. As we approach the Third Millennium, the time is now right for a declaration of truce, for constructive engagement, and-as the title of this essay suggests-the discovery of a "common witness." But upon what basis can a peace be established? On the basis of a shared sense of ecclesiastical authority, on a shared personal and corporate history, or on shared perspectives about theology and piety? It is the position of this essay that the one viable course of action is the last of these three options. The border fights have been over the first two, and because of them we have come to think of the border between Catholics and Pentecostals as a kind of no man's land. But on the basis of the third another course of action opens up; by the grace of God what has been a no man's land may become common ground. We actually have much more in common than we have allowed ourselves to think.


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