Original Research

Attempting to develop a Pentecostal theology of worship

Marius Nel
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 37, No 1 | a1661 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v37i1.1661 | © 2016 Marius Nel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 June 2016 | Published: 31 October 2016


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Abstract

Pentecostals affirm the power of Pentecost in worship where they experience the Spirit’s revelation of Christ and teach and preach about worship. However, Pentecostal theologians have not written much about a theology of worship, so Pentecostals’ worship practices are not necessarily theologically well-grounded. This article argues that the development of such a theology is necessary and timely because it will serve to inform, evaluate and regulate Pentecostal worship. It is then argued that such a theology of worship should be based on two principles emphasised by the Pentecostal fraternity: the Spirit’s equipment of all believers as priests and prophets, and their participation in all worship structures as part of the democratisation of the liturgy. Some elements of such a Pentecostal theology of worship are then explicated, specifically singing and praising God, preaching, communion and baptism, and Spirit baptism, in order to illustrate how the two main distinctive qualities of a Pentecostal worship service determine its contents. The purpose of the article is to theorise about the theological grounding of worship in the Pentecostal movement, hopefully in order to stimulate a South African debate among Pentecostals and interested parties.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: Worship practices in Pentecostal services are varied but share some common perspectives. It is argued that the theology underlying these practices has not been described in a South African context, making it difficult to evaluate the worship practices in Pentecostal services. By defining a Pentecostal theology of worship it becomes possible to do such an evaluation.


Keywords

Pentecostals; worship; spirituality

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