Tongues as a Sign: Towards a Sacramental Understanding of Pentecostal Experience

Tongues as a Sign: Towards a Sacramental Understanding of Pentecostal Experience 61 Tongues as a Sign: Towards a Sacramental Understanding of Pentecostal Experience Frank D. Macchia* Simon Tugwell observed that most classical Pentecostals' do not regard baptism and the eucharist as "sacramental" in significance. Instead of functioning as visible signs of God's presence to save, the principle sacraments of baptism and the eucharist among Pentecostals appeared to Tugwell to be tied more closely with human acts of repentance and testimonies of faith. Of significant interest, however, is Tugwell's recognition of the "sacramental" character of Pentecostal speaking in tongues. He noted that, for Pentecostals, glossolalia signified God's presence here and now. Rather than representing mere emotionalism, tongues made God present for Pentecostals in a special, audibly identifiable way. As a Catholic, Tugwell felt most at home in this aspect of Pentecostal worship and speculated that tongues might provide a fruitful point of departure for future Pentecostal/Catholic dialogue.' Scholars of Pentecostalism, such as William Samarin and Walter Hollenweger, have also noted a sacramental element in the Pentecostal use of glossolalia. Samarin argued that tongues for Pentecostals represented a "heightened awareness of God's presence," such as one normally finds in response to the eucharist in sacramental communions. As a "linguistic symbol of http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Pneuma Brill

Tongues as a Sign: Towards a Sacramental Understanding of Pentecostal Experience

Pneuma, Volume 15 (1): 61 – Jan 1, 1993

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 1993 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0272-0965
eISSN
1570-0747
D.O.I.
10.1163/157007493X00059
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

61 Tongues as a Sign: Towards a Sacramental Understanding of Pentecostal Experience Frank D. Macchia* Simon Tugwell observed that most classical Pentecostals' do not regard baptism and the eucharist as "sacramental" in significance. Instead of functioning as visible signs of God's presence to save, the principle sacraments of baptism and the eucharist among Pentecostals appeared to Tugwell to be tied more closely with human acts of repentance and testimonies of faith. Of significant interest, however, is Tugwell's recognition of the "sacramental" character of Pentecostal speaking in tongues. He noted that, for Pentecostals, glossolalia signified God's presence here and now. Rather than representing mere emotionalism, tongues made God present for Pentecostals in a special, audibly identifiable way. As a Catholic, Tugwell felt most at home in this aspect of Pentecostal worship and speculated that tongues might provide a fruitful point of departure for future Pentecostal/Catholic dialogue.' Scholars of Pentecostalism, such as William Samarin and Walter Hollenweger, have also noted a sacramental element in the Pentecostal use of glossolalia. Samarin argued that tongues for Pentecostals represented a "heightened awareness of God's presence," such as one normally finds in response to the eucharist in sacramental communions. As a "linguistic symbol of

Journal

PneumaBrill

Published: Jan 1, 1993

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