Date of Award

Summer 2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Religious Studies

First Advisor

Long, Stephen D.

Second Advisor

Carrey, Patrick W.

Third Advisor

Rossi, Phillip J.

Abstract

This dissertation explores the relationship between eschatology and pneumatology in the Vineyard movement. The Vineyard movement is a growing expression within the evangelical Protestant tradition that seeks to combine the core doctrines of Evangelicalism with the experience of the gifts of the Spirit that is often associated with Pentecostalism. As a relatively new faith expression, the Vineyard has not received a great deal of academic interest, and thus much of its core theological commitments have not yet been explored. I shall argue that the central theological distinctive of the Vineyard is their understanding of the inaugurated, enacted, eschatological kingdom of God. This distinctive is evidenced by the particular understanding of the work of the Holy Spirit in the Vineyard; which is consistently expressed in praxis. The kingdom of God was inaugurated in the ministry of Jesus, is enacted in the present age, and eschatological as it both looks forward to final consummation, even as it expects the powers of the future to be manifested in the present. This thread that is woven throughout Vineyard self-understanding and practice was infused into the movement by its founder, John Wimber. A former Jazz musician and rock band manager, Wimber came to faith late in life, and was greatly impacted by the theology of George Eldon Ladd who spoke of the kingdom reality as “fulfillment without consummation,” known in Vineyard parlance as the kingdom that is “already but not yet”. John Wimber took this understanding of the already-not yet kingdom of God and fused it with his growing desire for and experience of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, including speaking in tongues, prophecy, and healing. To fully understand Vineyard theology, one must understand this dynamic synthesis that is different from both evangelical Protestant theology and classic Pentecostalism. This project employs both constructive systematic theology and philosophical phenomenology to examine Vineyard theology and Vineyard praxis in order to present an introduction to this unique faith expression.