Abundant life—holistic soteriology as motivation for socio-political engagement

A Pentecostal and missional perspective 1

Authored by: Martina Prosén

The Routledge Handbook of African Theology

Print publication date:  June  2020
Online publication date:  May  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138092303
eBook ISBN: 9781315107561
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315107561-23

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Abstract

In a world plagued by terrorism and global catastrophes, when the news media is often filled with reports of wars and human suffering—where does the Christian Church stand? What does it mean to preach salvation in a world of such widespread tragedy? In what way can Christian theology contribute to an increased involvement for justice, peace, and sustainable living? For me as a Pentecostal theologian, 2 daughter of Swedish Pentecostal missionaries, raised in Rwanda, and deeply affected by the horrors of ethnic cleansing that occurred in the country, the question of salvation and its relation to good and evil, society and justice has become central to my theological thinking. In this chapter, I will propose a holistic model for understanding salvation as “abundant life” (John 10:10) and suggest that such a model would promote our involvement—as Christians and Pentecostals—in societal reform. To reach that conclusion, I will present insights and examples from the Swedish Pentecostal movement, African Pentecostal theology, and Latin American liberation theology from the 1960s. Finally, the argument ends with an effort to portray Jesus, the Savior Himself, the King of Peace, He who is Life and gives life.

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