Another Pentecostal Calvinist?

Posted: January 12, 2010 by Rick Hogaboam in Calvinism, Pentecostal/Charismatic Interests, Pneumatology
Tags: , ,

I have long thought, from my own experience in a Pentecostal setting while growing up, that Pentecostals must embrace the Sovereignty of God in order for their theology and experience to make sense. While Pentecostals tend to be “Arminian” in their understanding of God’s sovereignty, I have long thought they were functionally “Calvinistic”. Pentecostal scholar David Lim (1993:245-246) confirms the Pentecostal’s high view of God’s sovereignty:

Biblical prophecy implies a sovereign God who is above all and knows all. He is greater than His creation. He commands and it shall be accomplished (e.g., Isaiah 45:18-25). Prediction and its fulfillment reveal His omniscience and omnipotence. He shapes the course of the universe, the destiny of nations, and the direction of individual lives. Yet, because He does speak to human beings through prophecy about their sin and need for repentance, about His hope in the midst of despair, or restoration, encouragement, and blessing, we see God as very near and very involved in our lives. He is both transcendent and immanent. Some say that God speaks to us only from the written Word. Although prophecy must be subject to the teaching and authority of Scripture, God has never stopped speaking to His people. He can break into the midst of any situation with His special word at anytime.

  1. nick says:

    As much as I can be annoyed by the sectarianism of so many who say this sort of thing, I need to ask: does affirming the sovereignty of God really make someone a Calvinist? That seems like something of a stretch to me.

    I mean, am I a Lutheran because I affirm justification by faith alone?

    • Nick,

      My bud, thanks for chiming in with some thoughts.

      Affirming God’s Sovereignty does NOT make one a Calvinist in the robust sense of the word, but I would say that such sentiments are derived from a “Calvinistic” heritage.

      I am simply calling upon my Pentecostal and Charismatic brethren to recognize that their “practical theology” is inconsistent with “systematic Armnian theology.

      And no, you aren’t a Lutheran if you hold to justification, but the fact that you even know who Luther is and the contributions he made is something wholly absent in mainstream American Evangelicalism. While I don’t want all to be Lutherans per se, I think the Church would be better off if She acquainted Herself with Luther, Calvin, and other reformers. Our theology would be richer, better informed, and a bit more humble.

  2. Mark@DR says:

    Hi Rick,

    Late to the game, sorry, but wondering which book this Lim quote is taken from? My research isn’t turning anything up written by Lim in 1993.

    Thanks and blessings,


    • sorry so late with a reply. My bibliographic entry has the follows: Lim, D. (1993). Spiritual Gifts: A Fresh Look. Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House.
      I own this book and recall it being a possible subsequent printing. Hope this helps. Like your site.

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