Older white folks pontificating on the postmoderns?

Older white folks pontificating on the postmoderns?

It’s dated, but I just stumbled across this.

Stanford U. Pentecostal Gifts and MinistriesChi Alpha pastor Glen Davis guffawed at the news and then blogged about a book put out last year by the Assemblies of God’s Gospel Publishing House (GPH): Pentecostal Gifts and Ministries in a Postmodern Era, compiled and edited by the General Treasurer of the General Council of the A/G James K. Bridges, with some contributions from past CBC president Maurice Lednicky, and former CBC prof. Opal Reddin.

What’s laughable about this, you ask?

Just the irony of a septuagenarian and a few other retirees writing about postmodern ministry.

But, wait, is that really the case? Look at the GPH sell-copy:

For the Pentecostal movement to continue to be an effective instrument in this last day harvest, there must be a renewed emphasis upon the necessity of Spirit baptism for all believers — for out of that dynamic experience issue the supernatural gifts of the Spirit and their resultant ministry gifts. This book proclaims a challenge to return to the headwaters of this great river: Christ himself, the great Spirit baptizer and the dispenser of His gifts! Paper.

Read that carefully and you’ll see that this book could have been written back in 1952 when Brother Bridges got his start in the Texas district. The principle focus, as belied by the title, is not about postmoderns, postmodernism, or even the emergent church. It’s about spiritual gifts, which are rather timeless in their exercise and function, aren’t they? Truly, what the Apostle Paul had to say about spiritual gifts 2,000 years ago in 1 Corinthians 12–14 is just as relevant today as it was at Azusa.

If the book is true to its blurb, it’s probably about as useful a read on the spiritual gifts as any book edited by any respected and well-seasoned Pentecostal minister. We shouldn’t begrudge the authors the credibility and standing they bring to this text before reading it.

However, I suspect the titling of the book has to do as much with marketing as it does with subject matter — if not more so. Publishing houses, even at the A/G, reserve the right to assign whatever title they believe will sell. And make no mistake, GPH is a business, and it’s in the business of selling books.

You think they whiff a trend (a decade too late)? Consider: you’re the head of the division of the A/G publishing arm, and Brother Bridges wants to compile a book. He’s the treasurer, the guy who literally signs your checks. Do you say “No?” Not only should you keep your boss happy, you have a guaranteed readership. People, fellow septuagenarians no doubt, will buy the book. Yes, sir. It’s on the reading list for a course at AGTS: Ministry on the Edge: The Mission to Post-Christian America.

But slapping the “postmodern” stuff in the title? I suspect that’s just marketing. Now, I haven’t read the book, and I likely won’t, but if it doesn’t have a strong postmodern application and focus I wouldn’t be surprised. But I would be ticked off.

Not that my opinion matters.

[tags]assemblies-of-god, assembly-of-god, BlogRodent, central-bible-college, gospel-publishing-house, GPH, james-k-bridges, maurice-lednicky, opal-reddin, postmodernism, spiritual-gifts[/tags]

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