Q & R: Progressive Pentecostalism?

Here’s the Q:

I am a United Methodist minister serving 2 small churches in the great plains. In 2011 I read “A New Kind of Christianity” and found new hope and purpose for my ministry! I heard you speak to the United Methodist clergy of the Great Plains Conference in Topeka in 2013.
Recently I was reading “The Age of the Spirit” by Phyllis Tickle. I found the material fascinating and exciting. In particular, I found it fascinating that Phyllis Tickle sees Pentecostalism as one branch of Emergence Christianity. I was also struck by her reflection on the problem of authority in E. C. Once we move beyond sola scripture, I believe that authority for E. C. could be found in collective discernment of the Holy Spirit instructions and guidance. This would mean that we would need to be open to charismatic renewal and to cultivate the gifts of the Spirit including prophesy and discernment of tongues. However, in general, my impression is that Pentecostal Christians tend to be biblical literalists and conservative on social issues (not exactly E. C.)
Do you see any examples of “progressive” Pentecostalism?

Here’s the R:

Great question. Two quick thoughts in reply.

  1. Yes! There is an exciting “progressive Pentecostalism” taking shape. Pay attention to young leaders like Carlos Rodriguez and Jonathan Martin. Also pay attention to Latin American leaders affiliated with the Micah Challenge. I’ve met what I would call progressive Pentecostals in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe, and North America.
  2. Remember that just because traditional Pentecostals define “discernment of spirits” or “prophecy” in a certain way doesn’t mean they got the definition right. I think part of what progressive Pentecostalism will include will be a fresh understanding of many of those gifts.

If you haven’t read Harvey Cox’s book on this subject, I think you’d find it helpful: The Future of Faith. Harvey’s work, Phyllis’s, and mine all have a lot in common.