Following Jesus is a Liquid Dance

As we conclude this year-long experiment in respectful conversations, I’m grateful for the ways my faithful beloveds have responded to the post about my adopted tradition, Pentecostalism. Throughout the Following Jesus conversations, I’ve been struck by how many posts have included stories, highlighting the lived experience of our respective traditions. This set of responses was […]

God, We Need Your Spirit

I appreciated Dr. Todd’s reflection on following Jesus from a Pentecostal perspective primarily because of how he reminds us of the significance of the altar and Holy Spirit in forming us as disciples of Jesus. In a religious culture in which many people avoid practices that might “other” them (i.e. speaking in tongues, expressing themselves […]

A Pentecostal Theater Large Enough for This Marriage

If I dare put it this way, I’m grateful to J. Terry Todd for offering, in “Following Jesus to the Altar: One Pentecostal’s Reflection,” a Pentecostalism large enough for my marriage. This marriage, of a former atheist and semi-former charismatic, has called for a large room–even, in Todd’s language, a theater. And in relation to […]

Jim Crow & Jesus Christ

I hope my longtime friend and colleague Terry Todd won’t mind my opening with a story. When Terry and I were filming the PBS version of Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory during the summer of 1991, one of our most memorable stops was the True Bibleway Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of the […]

An Orthodox Perspective on the Nine Gifts of the Spirit (1 Cor. 12:8-10)

Dear Dr. Todd, Thank you very much for your very eloquent and informative contribution to our Conversation. You may be interested to hear about my own experience regarding Pentecostalism.  In the midst of my involvement in the Charismatic Movement in the 1970s, I entered the Master of Divinity program at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, […]

A Restorationist Responds to a Renewalist

I am fascinated by Dr. J. Terry Todd’s conversion from Episcopal to Pentecostal. That is a pretty dramatic shift in belief and practice, and I would appreciate knowing more about such a spiritual journey. What led/drew you to Pentecostalism? I have been fascinated with Pentecostalism for a long time. For many years, my father was […]

Can You Only Follow Jesus to the Altar if you Speak in Tongues?

     Terry Todd’s understanding of the Pentecostal altar as “the space where Pentecostals learn what it means to follow Jesus through encountering the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit” reminds me of what Lutherans and other Protestants mean by the Priesthood of All Believers.  In every space and occasion of life, we Christians have opportunities […]

Making All Things New

This past Sunday morning, worship in the Lutheran church I was visiting opened with a Brazilian hymn. Verse 1 was easy enough: “Oh, sing to the Lord, oh, sing God a new song.” But as we got deeper into the hymn, I wondered what my fellow white Midwestern congregants would have thought if someone had […]

Radical Pentecostalism Looks Very Promising to This Baptist

Terry Todd’s riveting post offers a great way to end our Following Jesus colloquy here at Respectful Conversation. The picture of church life he offers is so wildly different from anything else we have engaged, yet there ought to be points of connection and elements of appeal for many of us. I certainly find some […]

Following Jesus to the Altar: One Pentecostal’s Reflection

Bearing the weight of a grief I couldn’t name, one Sunday I tarried at the altar, a classical Pentecostal phrase that involves praying mightily for a divine encounter with the Holy Spirit.  I stood, along with others, near the front of the worship space, my body enveloped by the band’s percussive rhythms and the praise […]

What I Have Learned that My Fellow Latter-day Saints Ought to Know

When I was first approached by Professor Harold Heie about the possibility of my involvement in an e-dialogue, “Respectful Conversations,” I wondered if I would have the time and energy to do so, given that I was already engaged in dialogue with Evangelicals, Nazarenes, and was a part of a Christian interfaith dialogue (eight of […]

Advice from a Pentecostal to the LDS: Fly the Freak Flag!

It’s a true honor to respond to prominent LDS scholar Robert Millet, dean emeritus of religious education at Brigham Young University, the flagship of LDS higher education. Dr. Millett has spent decades explaining the faith to Latter-day Saints themselves, as well as patiently representing LDS beliefs and practices to those on the outside. I appreciate […]

The Ever-Present Need For Community

As I read through Dr. Millett’s reflection on what it means to follow Jesus from the Latter-day Saint tradition, I am encouraged to find there is significant overlap between this tradition and my own – the Black Church tradition. Both traditions believe that being a follower of Jesus requires us to “search the scriptures daily,” […]

Pondering Across Two Traditions Both Shadowed and Hallowed

Robert Millet’s winsome portrayal of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints took me first back to my growing-up years. As has been true in the case of many traditions I’ve responded to, my early formation in Anabaptist-Mennonite communities and theologies predisposed me to view the Mormons, as we then knew the Church of […]

Some Historical Considerations

Dear Bob, In thinking about how to respond to your very engaging description of the spiritual life of Latter Day Saints, I’m reminded of a two-page hand-out that I developed for use in my teaching of Church History at St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Seminary.  And with this, the grievously vexing, impossible-to-ignore question comes rushing back: If […]