|dc.description.abstract||The aim of this research is to identify whether affinities, or touch points, exist between John Calvin’s pneumatology and account of the union between the believer and Christ and Pentecostal thought on these issues. If it can be demonstrated that they do, then Calvin could be of great assistance to Pentecostals as they seek a global theology.
John Calvin’s thought on the subjects is summarised, and a review undertaken of Pentecostal thought which focuses on Spirit release (the preferred term for what is most commonly termed Spirit baptism among Pentecostals), and the work of the Spirit in salvation. The narrowness of this review is necessary as a global Pentecostal theology which can be summarised in the same way as Calvin’s thought does not yet exist. With the respective positions established, conversations between them are constructed within three subjects: The Assurance of Faith; Providence and Guidance; and Justification. These subjects are chosen because of the heavy involvement of the Spirit within each in both systems, and the contribution made by the union as the arena of the Spirit’s work in each. Within each of these doctrines a number of touch points are identified, where there is either agreement between the systems or there is some common ground. The latter might be a similarity of process, or a matter of degree. For example, Macchia posits a direct role for the Spirit in justification, whereas for Calvin justification is entirely Christological. However, the work of the Spirit in establishing the prior union between the believer and Christ is necessary for justification in Calvin. This constitutes a touch point or affinity which rests on some common ground, not on direct agreement.
In the final chapter, there is extended consideration of Spirit release. This firstly establishes the term as a valid description of the encounter to which Pentecostals testify at the core of their witness. Secondly, it shows that a concept can be developed which enables Spirit release to sit well as an extension from Calvin’s thought. With this linkage established, it is shown that the touch points identified under the above headings are so substantial that Pentecostals can usefully look to Calvin on pneumatology and union as ground on which they can develop their own views in order to deepen their own theology and so move towards a global Pentecostal theology.||