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Tarrying on the Lord: Affections, Virtues and Theological Ethics in Pentecostal Perspective

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As Pentecostals begin to inquire what might constitute Pentecostal theology, the matter must also arise as to what constitutes Pentecostal ethics, both as a matter of logical sequence and as a necessity given the historical and theological links the Pentecostal movement has with the Holiness movement of the nineteenth century. Both areas must be localized in the context of Pentecostal worship, and essential to the field of ethics are the affections and virtues, two moral frameworks that have proven useful for Christian moral reflection. Rather than choosing one or the other, Pentecostals can employ these frameworks in a complementary manner, for each framework has particular accents that are crucial for describing how the moral life takes shape and is sustained. The author employs the activity of ‘tarrying’ from Pentecostal worship as a metaphor for the Pentecostal vision of the moral life in order to show how Pentecostals may continue to embody distinctively their eschatological vision of God at a time when they are negotiating competing allegiances as they emerge as a sub-tradition within Christianity.

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