Testimony in the Spirit

Rescripting Ordinary Pentecostal Theology

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  • Mark J. Cartledge, University of Birmingham, UK
  • Series: Explorations in Practical, Pastoral and Empirical Theology
  • This book explores the ordinary beliefs and practices of Pentecostal and Charismatic Christians in relation to the Holy Spirit. It does this by means of a congregational study of a classical Pentecostal church in the UK, using participant observation, focus groups and documentary and media analysis. This approach develops a framework in which the narratives of informants can be interpreted. Focusing on specific areas of interest, such as worship, conversion, healing and witness, each contribution from respondents is situated within the context of the congregation and interpreted by means of the broader Christian tradition.

    This book makes a unique contribution to scholarship by offering a rich and varied picture of contemporary Christians in the Pentecostal and Charismatic traditions, enabling a greater understanding to be appreciated for both academic and ecclesial audiences.
  • Contents: Introduction; Methodology; Worship; Conversion; Baptism in the Spirit; Healing; Life and witness; World mission and the 2nd coming; Conclusion; Appendices; References; Index.
  • About the Author: Mark J. Cartledge is a practical theologian who has worked in a number of different jobs combining Christian ministry with academic teaching and research. He has been researching Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity for twenty years and is now one of the most established scholars in this field in the UK. He is a member of the Society for Pentecostal Studies. His publications include: (Editor) Speaking in Tongues: Multi-disciplinary Perspectives (2006); Encountering the Spirit: The Charismatic Tradition (2006); Practical Theology: Charismatic and Empirical Perspectives (2003); Charismatic Glossolalia: An Empirical Theological Study (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2002)
  • Reviews: Mark Cartledge has taken David Martin's concept of rescripting which he applies to (in Jeff Astley's language) the 'ordinary theology' of a local Pentecostal denomination and has pulled off a remarkable study of interdisciplinary sophistication which is both faithful to Pentecostal self understanding of their lives, yet deeply reflexive sociologically, and reflective theologically. If that were not enough he offers this rescription to Pentecostal practitioners in a spirit of critical engagement. This study is so rich and rounded that I am tempted to throw caution to the wind and say with confidence that this lifts practical theology to a higher level. Testimony in the Spirit is a tour de force.
    Andrew Walker, King's College London, UK

    Finally, a practical theological methodology that ably and adequately closes the loop between the vibrant and widely heralded 'Pentecostal spirituality' and the second-level discourse of Pentecostal theology. Cartledge not only writes here in service of the church, but further solidifies his reputation at the vanguard of the increasingly important field of practical theology through his expert translation of Pentecostal experience, that remains quite enigmatic to those outside the movement.
    Amos Yong, Regent University School of Divinity, USA

    This is theological reflection that questions and listens discerningly to a local Pentecostal congregation in the light of a larger theological conversation. The result is a fruitful exchange that provides much needed clarity of thought, not only for Pentecostals, but for everyone interested in understanding how theology can serve the life and mission of the church.
    Frank D. Macchia, Vanguard University, USA

    In a lucid and compelling style, Cartledge takes the reader inside the "ordinary theology" of contemporary British Pentecostalism. He raises issues of great importance to leaders of diverse religious communities, while sharing ground-breaking scholarship in Pentecostal/Charismatic studies and Practical Theology.
    Richard Osmer, Princeton Theological Seminary, USA

    'Cartledge makes specific recommendations for rescripting ordinary theology for each theme. Summing Up: Recommended. Theological libraries with strong collections in Pentecostal/charismatic studies; graduate students and researchers/faculty.' Choice

    'Cartledge's reasoning through the resources he consults and his analyses of what he has observed in these churches provide readers windows into the mind of a theologian and social scientist. He is an observer and interpreter, both of the practices he observes and of the writings of the Pentecostal scholars with which he interacts. His methodology would be beneficial to practical theologians in the academy.' Religious Studies Review

    ‘This is a good book... This work will offer valuable reading to those who wish to engage with Pentecostal theology ‘on the ground’, those who are keen to see practical, empirical theology in action on Pentecostalism, and those who are concerned to see how the young discipline of Pentecostal-charismatic studies is growing up.’ Evangelical Quarterly