2010 February: Rev Ruthlyn Bradshaw MTh
The Oliver Lyseight Annual Lecture
Rev Ruthlyn Bradshaw MTh - 6th February 2010
New Testament Church of God, leadership Training Centre
Challenges of Black Pentecostal Leadership in the 21st Century- Pentecostal Hermeneutics
Being invited to contribute to this lecture series is indeed an honour and I thank you. It is highly commendable that we have been afforded this forum to come together and reflect theologically about our faith. The contributions made by the two previous contributors were excellent, informative and thought provoking. I sincerely hope that my contribution would be a continuation of the high standard that has already been set.......
Pentecostals and Theology
Pentecostal beliefs have given rise to much speculations, misunderstandings and criticisms. One of the common criticisms of the Pentecostal movement is its lack of an adequate theology. "Popular portrayals of Pentecostalism often imply that theology is virtually absent from this movement." Pentecostals have been known to suffer from a deficiency in the theology and teaching department. Walter Hollenweger, a former Pentecostal reveals this when he wrote this dedication: "To my friends and teachers in the Pentecostal Movement who taught me to love the Bible and to my teachers and friends in the Presbyterian Church who taught me to understand it." Although not totally true, it has often been said that ‘Pentecostals engage their hearts (emotions) rather than their minds'.
However, it is an undeniable fact that in some instances, especially in the earlier years, Pentecostals have shied away from formal theological studies and training. Dr Joe Aldred in his lecture diagnosed the condition as theology-phobia and suggests that it's time for us to get rid of it. In recent times, thank God, there is evidence of change. Pentecostal theologians and adequately trained Pentecostal ministers are emerging who are no longer contented with ‘just opening their mouths wide and waiting on God to fill them'. That being said, there is still much work to be done as residues from the old way of thinking still remain with us. Just a few months ago I was told by a well meaning Pentecostal, ‘you better rely on the Holy Ghost and stop studying all that theology stuff or you are going to lose the anointing'. Obviously, some Christians are misguided and misinformed as to what theology is.............
‘Black' Pentecostal Churches Stewards of a Great Heritage
We are recipients of a great heritage. From the beginning, William Seymour filled with the Holy Spirit and driven with the desire for equality and justice, made a difference by changing the existing order of things. Affecting change was an integral part of the Pentecostal experience right from the start. People of all classes, races and gender were given a new sense of identity and significance. The Pentecostal church was a force for change. The disciples, filled with the Holy Spirit, went forth from the upper room and turned the world upside down. How are we bearing witness to this heritage? Where are we doing battle for justice? Where are the evidences that we are affecting change? How are we liberating people from an oppressive society?...........
For a copy of this lecture and to register for the 2011 lecture, please contact the Leadership Training Centre.