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Friedrich Schleiermacher: Pentecostal Friend or FOE?

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Although it is rapidly growing worldwide, Pentecostalism is a relatively young Christian tradition and, in consequence, has not yet developed a thorough systematic theology. The most unifying aspects of Pentecostalism tend to be its emphasis on the Holy Spirit and its commitment to oppose what are deemed to be inappropriate and heretical theologies. While there are many theologies and theologians that Pentecostals resist, Friedrich D.E. Schleiermacher is almost universally opposed due to what Western Pentecostal theology views as his liberal, subjective, and academic theology. In this essay, I argue that these claims are misguided and that there is important common ground between Schleiermacher and Western Pentecostal theology, as seen through Schleiermacher’s theology on redemption, ecclesiology, and preaching. Thus Western Pentecostal theology can confidently adopt Schleiermacher as a theological ally, thereby allowing his theology to inform Pentecostal theology as it continues to develop.

Affiliations: 1: Georgetown University,


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