Toward a Pentecostal theology of prophetic legitimacy

Chironna, Mark J. (2023). Toward a Pentecostal theology of prophetic legitimacy. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Within the framework of contemporary Pentecostalism, this thesis considers prophetic legitimacy and its elements. Since the 1948 inception of the Latter Rain Movement, prophetic expression and function have proliferated, with the movement’s tributaries carrying its most welcomed and most-questioned aspects into the larger Pentecostal tradition. With prophetic activity gaining prominence, the Third Wave/Independent tribes’ diverse prophetic expressions raise important questions, which are illustrated in presented examples of current prophetic praxis.

This thesis borrows the terms prophetic consciousness and prophetic perception from Walter Brueggemann and explores them from theological, psychological, and phenomenological perspectives. In approaching the Scripture, two methodologies are employed: the literary-critical approach and a canonical approach, which are used to consider OT and NT prophetic figures in regard to their prophetic function and legitimacy. Given the Pentecostal tradition of Luke-Acts as entrance into the prophetic conversation, the NT work is based in a Lukan perspective, as is the argument for a Pentecostal theology of prophetic legitimacy.

A more contemporary exemplar of prophetic legitimacy is also presented: Violet Kiteley, a Latter Rain adherent and participant from the movement’s inception. A narrative of her prophetic journey, spiritual formation, focus on Latter Rain Restorationism, understanding of the prophetic presbytery, and Latter Rain Pentecostal hermeneutic are detailed. A critique of the Latter Rain Restorationism schema explores its inherent challenges while affirming Kiteley’s place as an exemplar of prophetic legitimacy.
This research concludes with a proposed construct for prophetic legitimacy, along with three proposed elements that commend a healthy Pentecostal theology of the same: they are prophetica discretio, prophetica conscientia, and prophetica praxis. These are examined in relation to prophetic orthodoxy, orthopraxy, and orthopathy and are considered in regard to a prophetic ethic that grounds all prophetic function and legitimacy.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion, Department of Theology and Religion
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BS The Bible
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BV Practical Theology


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