The Community of the Spirit: How the Church Is in the World by C. Norman Kraus

By C. Norman Kraus

Ebook by means of Kraus, C. Norman

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Because modern evangelicalism mostly accepted the basic assumptions and working definitions of this theological tradition, it has never come fully to grips with the significance of the gospel of Pentecost. Let me explain. Contemporary American evangelicalism is broadly divided into three schools on the interpretation of Pentecost and the work of the Holy Spirit. Two of these, which I shall refer to as pentecostal and pietistic, stand in sharp contrast. The third position, which we may call holiness, developed within Pietism.

And he continued by warning them not to submit again to bondage under the old tribal regulations and myths that had defined their self-identity (cf. Col. 2:9). Let us look more closely at the biblical data. Individuality in the Old Testament Just as the presuppositions of humanistic individual- Page 35 ism provide the working definitions and assumptions of modern Western society, so the idea of group solidarity lay behind ancient Hebrew thought about humankind. We moderns assume that the individual person is prior to the collective group, and that community is formed by a contractual arrangement of free individuals for their own mutual purposes.

Hence to fully understand the essential nature of God's image we must observe the terms of the covenant the Creator made with them. Third, as we have just noted, the covenant which defined the human family's responsibility and, by inference, its nature deals with life in society and the natural order. The covenant gives the human family both a social and ecological mandate. Not only in the Genesis accounts, but also in the writings of the prophets, the point is explicitly made that the covenant is not concerned in the first place with special religious duties.

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