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The Assemblies of GodGodly Love and the Revitalization of American Pentecostalism$
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Margaret M. Poloma and John C. Green

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780814767832

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814767832.001.0001

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Law of Love and Love of Law

Law of Love and Love of Law

Beliefs, Mores, and Faces of Love

(p.144) 7 Law of Love and Love of Law
The Assemblies of God

Margaret M. Poloma

John C. Green

NYU Press

This chapter explores answers to questions raised by the late sociologist Philip Rieff about whether charisma exists in contemporary society; by pentecostal theologian Kimberly Alexander's concern about “almost Pentecostals” in American Pentecostalism; and by philosopher Rolf Johnson's thesis on the three faces of love, especially “appreciation-love.” The focus of the chapter is the relationship between a “love of law” (as reflected in strong agreement with Pentecostal doctrines, the practice of ritual prescriptions, and avoidance of moral taboos) and the “law of love” (as measured by works of compassion, evangelism, concern for the poor, and care-love). For many believers, love is the law that sows benevolence toward others. There is no evidence that restoring old legal traditions would enhance charisma or benevolence in the Assemblies of God, but there is evidence that more emphasis on the charisma of prophecy might further the practice of other charismata and benevolence.

Keywords:   Philip Rieff, Kimberly Alexander, pentecostals, Pentecostalism, Rolf Johnson, love, charismata, charisma, benevolence

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