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Date of Award

2002

Document Type

Graduate Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Systematic Theology

Department

School of Theology • Seminary

First Advisor

Susan Wood, SCL

Second Advisor

Helen Rolfson, OSF

Abstract

Without denying the charismatic experiences so powerfully animating the Christian community today, I have challenged the traditional Pentecostal understanding which separates Spirit baptism from water baptism, and I argue instead for a view that joins the two in a single process of Christian initiation.

After reviewing the development of classical Pentecostal perspectives on Spirit baptism, I present three specific challenges arising first, from a survey of the New Testament witness, second, from a theological consideration of the unity of the Christ and the Spirit, and third, from a Roman Catholic understanding of the unity of baptism and confirmation. In light of these challenges, I argue for a view that links reception of the Holy Spirit to the single integrated process of Christian initiation, and finally, I note several implications which flow from this perspective

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