REFORMED-PENTECOSTAL DIALOGUE FOCUSES ON MISSION AND SALVATION

The second round of meetings in the Reformed-Pentecostal Dialogue took place in December at the St. Paul Cultural Center in Antalya, Turkey, under the theme “Ministering to the Needs of the World: Mission and Salvation.”

“Folks from Reformed and Pentecostal churches relate to each other in a variety of contexts around the world. Those interactions are often marked by false assumptions or stereotypes that folks on one side make about the other. The dialogue is important because it allows us to overcome the stereotypes and dig into the depths of each tradition,” said Karla Ann Koll, co-chair of the dialoge from the Reformed delegation.

Papers from both perspectives were presented by Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen (Pentecostal) and Setri Nyomi (Reformed).

After placing mission at the center of Pentecostal spirituality, Kärkkäinen highlighted theological factors which create and sustain the passionate, missional orientation of Pentecostals: Christ-centered “Full Gospel,” eschatological urgency and the Spirit of empowerment. This was followed by an inquiry into the nature and implications of Pentecostalism’s holistic and comprehensive missionary vision.

Discussion on the presentation included themes like evangelism and proclamation, social concern and care and the scope of missionary activity. Kärkkäinen also dealt with what he called “the biggest challenge facing Pentecostal mission,” namely religious pluralism and interfaith relations. At the end of the presentation Kärkkäinen offered some self-critical reflections on potential liabilities and vulnerabilities that may be seen in the Pentecostal understanding of mission.

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