Gordon Fee and Pentecostal Scholarship

Charisma magazine has a great article on Gordon Fee (HT: sunestauromai).

I particularly was struck by these two paragraphs:

For the most part, though, Pentecostals remain resistant to—or indifferent toward—theology and scholarship. After all, modern Pentecostalism was birthed in spiritual experience, not intellectualism. As the movement spread, Pentecostals simply didn’t see a need for theological pursuits. “We don’t need scholars; we just need the Holy Spirit!” has been the mainstream Pentecostal cry for the last 100 years.

Among evangelicals, few have looked to Pentecostals for in-depth biblical teaching. A commonly held view has been: “Pentecostal theology? What’s that?”

I encountered the first attitude in an introductory class I taught on studying the Bible. One young lady quit the class, saying that though I was teaching good things she didn’t need any of it, because she had the Holy Spirit. I can testify that she displayed very great need of learning to study the Bible more diligently!

I have exemplified the second attitude. When a friend of my daughter came home from ministry school with a book on Pentecostal theology. I remember remarking that I didn’t know there was such a thing! Of course today that’s exaggerating things somewhat. In my own publishing efforts I hope to bring together the work of conservative, liberal, and charismatic scholars to the benefit of all.

Gordon Fee has made a wonderful contribution over the years. I regard his commentary on 1 Corinthians in the NICOT seriesto be one of the best commentaries on any Bible book I have ever read, and for its size and audience probably the best. (Of course, one must consider that I haven’t had time to read that large a number of commentaries!) I’m looking forward to reading his new commentary on Revelation.

In any case, check out the article, and especially the comments on prosperity theology. It is no wonder that a serious student of Paul would be very critical of modern prosperity or “health and wealth” theology.

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