Smith, Graham Russell (2011)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
This thesis uses a practical-theological methodology to explore the theology and spirituality of „spiritual warfare‟ that developed in the charismatic renewal from the 1960s. Beginning with a study of twelve charismatic Anglican pioneers, a detailed case study then explores spiritual warfare praxis in a charismatic Anglican congregation. The ensuing theological reflection focuses on the ontology of evil, through dialogue with Nigel Wright, Amos Yong, and Gregory Boyd, as well as Karl Barth and Walter Wink.
The thesis argues for a positive ontology for evil powers, based on a charismatic hermeneutic of biblical texts; on the grounds that Jesus treated Satan and demons as real spiritual entities, the Pauline epistles refer to real evil spiritual powers in the heavenly realms, and charismatic experience supports this ontology. Such powers are in malevolent and wilful rebellion against God, deriving from a corrupted fallen angelic nature.
A Trinitarian model of theological praxis is presented, focused on responding to the goodness of God in repentance; renewing faith in the believer‟s identity in Christ and His victory upon the cross; and resisting the devil in the power of the Spirit. This model emphasizes personal responsibility, helps bring freedom from fear, and re-connects with Anglican baptismal liturgy.
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