Spirit baptism in the Pentecostal movement and the inauguration of the Kingdom of God
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This thesis has endavoured to help bring some new perspectives on the classical Pentecostal teaching on baptism on the Holy Spirit and have a look at recent Pentecostal scholarship on the subject. The teaching that was so prominent in the early days of the movement, has later faded more away, and renewed interest may help to bring it back to the forefront. The research questions are about Spirit baptism, what it is, how it has been developed and how it is understood. Are the Pentecostals right in confirming a subsequent baptism for empowerment for service and witness, or is it merely initiatory into the faith? Could a potential reworking of the theological framework give credibility to the idea that it is a broad biblical metaphor, connecting various theological themes such as ecclesiology, eschatology and the Kingdom of God together? And if this is so, may it revitalize its importance and relevance for Pentecostals today? This is a literary research, consulting works of important scholars in the field to gain an overview of different perspectives and debates on the subject in question, and to give valuable insights into the research questions given. Hermeneutical considerations will be done, considering the interpretation from mainly a Pentecostal perspective. Our literary research concluded in there being various perspectives on Spirit baptism, even within the Pentecostal movement, although the classical teaching of a subsequent baptism for service and witness still is present, and several scholars agree with its connection to communal church life and eschatology. Frank Macchia provides a thoroughly framework for viewing Spirit baptism as constitutional for the Church, as well as the means by which the Kingdom is inaugurated, without neglecting its function as empowerment for individual believers.