The pentecostal challenge to the concept of salvation in liberation theology
Amechi, Leonard Asonye
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This study was set up to determine how the concept of biblical salvation is understood within liberation theology and how the concept is perceived from Pentecostal standpoint with the aim of developing a theological framework to challenge the dehumanising influences in contemporary society. The central argument of this thesis is that, there are irreconcilable differences between the salvation espoused by liberation theology's praxeological epistemology and the Pentecostal understanding of the concept etymologically and hermeneutically speaking. The study further probes whether Pentecostalism can provide the necessary theological framework that can be used to challenge the perceived dehumanising influences in contemporary society. The study achieved its purpose by setting meaningful objectives and following the appropriate research methodologies. Firstly, the study employed in-depth textual analysis, historiography, lexicology, and hermeneutic principles to understand the etymology of salvation from previous scholarship. This effort helped to elucidate differences that exist between liberation theology and Pentecostal renderings of the concept. Secondly, the concerns of existing contributors on the subject were evaluated by researching historical, linguistic and textual materials as well as exegetical analysis of relevant texts of Scripture. Thirdly, an in-depth literature analysis was undertaken to ascertain liberation theology's hermeneutic methodologies. This is necessary to establish whether the movement is more interested in promoting its ideologies and preunderstandings rather than biblical salvation. Fourthly, it was necessary to review the deep concerns expressed by liberation theology epistemology without compromising the message of the Gospel. This was achieved by a thorough analysis of social ministries undertaken by Progressive Pentecostals across the globe. Fifthly, the study evaluated the Pentecostal criticisms of liberation theology to see if there is any justification for that. This was achieved through an in-depth exegetical and hermeneutic analysis using word studies, theological dictionaries, bible commentaries, and by reviewing scholarly articles on the subject matter. Lastly, by analysing the difference between Pentecostal and liberation theologies, it was clear that their methods of operations are different. This goes to explain why Pentecostalism is growing exponentially while liberation theology is declining. The outcome of this analysis also explains why Pentecostalism is a better alternative in addressing the challenges facing our global community.
- Theology