Original Research: Historical Thought and Source Interpretation

A critical study of Pentecostal understanding of the baptism of the Holy Spirit in Acts

Kalis Stevanus, Ivan Th. J. Weismann, Christopher J. Luthy, Daniel Ronda, Randy F. Rouw
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 79, No 2 | a8115 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v79i2.8115 | © 2023 Kalis Stevanus, Ivan Th. J. Weismann, Christopher J. Luthy, Daniel Ronda, Randy F. Rouw | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 September 2022 | Published: 27 February 2023

About the author(s)

Kalis Stevanus, Faculty of Theology, Sekolah Tinggi Teologi Tawangmangu, Tawangmangu, Indonesia
Ivan Th. J. Weismann, Faculty of Theology, Sekolah Tinggi Filsafat Jaffray Makassar, Makassar, Indonesia
Christopher J. Luthy, Faculty of Theology, Sekolah Tinggi Filsafat Jaffray Makassar, Makassar, Indonesia; and, Faculty of Theology, University of Divinity, Victoria, Australia
Daniel Ronda, Faculty of Theology, Sekolah Tinggi Filsafat Jaffray Makassar, Makassar, Indonesia
Randy F. Rouw, Faculty of Christian Education, Sekolah Tinggi Filsafat Jaffray Makassar, Makassar, Indonesia

Abstract

In faith and practice, Pentecostals put emphasis on practical issues as well as spiritual experience in their theological understanding and doctrinal teachings. The Pentecostals take their doctrine from certain empirical events. One of the spiritual experiences often underlined is the baptism of the Holy Spirit. In interpreting the Book of Acts, Pentecostals tend to emphasise the theological character of the narratives and seldom their historical uniqueness. That is why Pentecostals stress the normative theological intent of the historical record for contemporary Christian experience. This article therefore examines critically Pentecostal paradigm of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, deriving examples from the Acts of the Apostles. It is concluded that the practice of the baptism of the Holy Spirit carried out by Christians today, arguably, has no biblical basis. This is because, there is nowhere the Bible commands people to seek baptism in the Holy Spirit. The observation is that, all the events or experiences of Christians baptised in the Holy Spirit in Acts are not necessarily universal normative for every Christian and for this reason, there is no need to be dogmatic.

Contribution: This article challenges the practice of the baptism of the Holy Spirit in church today. This study supports the fact that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is not a universal experience for every Christians and there is no need to be dogmatised.


Keywords

Pentecostals; baptism of the Holy Spirit; Acts; Pneuma; glossolalia.

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 4: Quality education

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Crossref Citations

1. Glossolalia, Spirit baptism and Pentecostals: Revisiting the book of Acts
Marius Nel
Theologia Viatorum  vol: 47  issue: 1  year: 2023  
doi: 10.4102/tv.v47i1.222