Original Research - Special Collection: Practical Theology

Praxeis as praxis: Odegeology as practical theology in the book of Acts

Mark Wilson
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 75, No 2 | a5416 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v75i2.5416 | © 2019 Mark Wilson | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 February 2019 | Published: 17 October 2019

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Mark Wilson, Department of Biblical and Ancient Studies, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

This article introduces the neologism ‘odegeology’ to encompass theological discussion concerning divine guidance, a significant issue for spiritual formation and discipleship in the church. Jesus’ promise of power and his commission to be witnesses in Acts 1:8 establish the theme for the book called Praxeis in the Greek text. Acts is replete with examples of guidance for completing that mission, particularly in the ministries of Peter and Paul. Can Paul’s experiences with guidance, whether natural or supernatural, be considered a matter of praxis for Christians today? In answering that question, this study will use Paul’s missionary journeys in Acts as a heuristic model for decision-making. The article will discuss the place of divine guidance in publications by Pentecostal/charismatic publishers and whether it is a subject addressed in the faculties of practical theology in their theological schools. The article closes with a discussion whether odegeology as practised in Acts should be normative for Christians today.

Keywords

Odegeology; Paul; Guidance; God’s will; Spiritual formation; Practical Theology; Book of Acts; Pentecostal; Charismatics.

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