Holy Spirit, Emerging Church, Moltmann and Pentecostals? Why yes!

The emerging church has recently gained attention in regards to its liturgical innovation and postmodern methodology. Viewed through the lens of Jürgen Moltmann’s theology, however, the emerging church is not merely another church growth movement but is in fact reflecting key pneumatological principles, emphasizing and exhibiting a more holistic perspective on the broad work of the Holy Spirit in the church and in this world.


Document Type: Research article

Patrick Oden, “An Emerging Pneumatology: Jürgen Moltmann and the Emerging Church in Conversation,” Journal of Pentecostal Theology 18, Number 2, 2009, pp. 263-284.

Essentially, this article is an academic approach to the content I first focused on in my book It’s a Dance. In the book, Moltmann and others were influences, but the specific influence was not noted. In this article I take the same basic nine traits of the emerging church, as shown by Gibbs and Bolger, and show how these traits seem to match Moltmann’s own pneumatology.

Those of you who have been following my exploits for awhile will remember I spoke on this at Duke in March, 2008 with Moltmann himself sitting in the front row. This article is the paper that went with that talk.

I was interrupted in the writing of this post by a phone call from my friend and fellow Fuller PhD student, Kyle Bennett. He let me know that our proposal for leading a whole “Emerging church and Pentecostalism” session at the next Society of Pentecostal Studies conference was accepted. So, hooray for that too!

Needless to say, this is a good professional day for me.

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