© 2016

A Pentecostal Political Theology for American Renewal

Spirit of the Kingdoms, Citizens of the Cities


Part of the Christianity and Renewal - Interdisciplinary Studies book series (CHARIS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Steven M. Studebaker
    Pages 1-12
  3. American Decline

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 13-13
    2. Steven M. Studebaker
      Pages 15-49
    3. Steven M. Studebaker
      Pages 51-77
    4. Steven M. Studebaker
      Pages 79-106
  4. A Political Theology of the Spirit

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 107-107
    2. Steven M. Studebaker
      Pages 109-140
    3. Steven M. Studebaker
      Pages 141-173
    4. Steven M. Studebaker
      Pages 175-198
  5. The Spirit and National Renewal

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 199-199
    2. Steven M. Studebaker
      Pages 201-224
    3. Steven M. Studebaker
      Pages 225-251
    4. Steven M. Studebaker
      Pages 253-278
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 279-292

About this book


 This book argues that Christians have a stake in the sustainability and success of core cultural values of the West in general and America in particular. Steven M. Studebaker considers Western and American decline from a theological and, specifically, Pentecostal perspective. The volume proposes and develops a Pentecostal political theology that can be used to address and reframe Christian political identity in the United States. 

Studebaker asserts that American Christians are currently not properly engaged in preventing America’s decline or halting the shifts in its core values. The problem, he suggests, is that American Christianity not only gives little thought to the state of the nation beyond a handful of moral issues like abortion, but its popular political theologies lead Christians to think of themselves more as aliens than as citizens. This book posits that the proposed Pentecostal political theology would  help American Christians view themselves as citizens and better recognize their stake in the renewal of their nation. The foundation of this proposed political theology is a pneumatological narrative of renewal—a biblical narrative of the Spirit that begins with creation, proceeds through Incarnation and Pentecost, and culminates in the new creation and everlasting kingdom of God. This narrative provides the foundation for a political theology that speaks to the issues of Christian political identity and encourages Christian political participation.   


Holy Spirit Pneumatology Pentecostalism Pentecostal theology Political theology American exceptionalism Indispensable nation American decline America Christian theology Christianity cities education Jerusalem kingdom mobility nation religion society theology

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.McMaster Divinity CollegeHamiltonCanada

About the authors

Steven M. Studebaker is the Howard and Shirley Bentall Chair in Evangelical Thought at McMaster Divinity College, Canada. He has authored From Pentecost to the Triune God as well as several books on the trinitarian theology of Jonathan Edwards. He has edited Defining Issues in Pentecostalism and Pentecostalism and Globalization. 

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title A Pentecostal Political Theology for American Renewal
  • Book Subtitle Spirit of the Kingdoms, Citizens of the Cities
  • Authors Steven M. Studebaker
  • Series Title Christianity and Renewal - Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Series Abbreviated Title Christianity and Renewal - Interdisciplinary Studies
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, New York
  • eBook Packages Religion and Philosophy Philosophy and Religion (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-1-137-48015-6
  • Softcover ISBN 978-1-349-69382-5
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-137-48016-3
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XIV, 292
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Christianity
    Religion and Society
    Christian Theology
    Evangelicalism and Pentecostalism
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“This is a breakthrough book in US Christian political theology, from a fresh and unexpected Pentecostal perspective. Studebaker's extraordinarily rich theological reflection brings the Pentecostal tradition's emphasis on the work of the Holy Spirit into political theology in exceedingly fruitful ways. Integrated with the theology, the book is very well-informed and well-researched in relation to both the details and the big picture of US public life, including both domestic and foreign policy issues. Along the way Studebaker offers cogent critiques of current pop and scholarly US Christian political theologies, including Anabaptist, Radical Orthodoxy, and Augustinian, Christian Right and Left. Many particular judgments can be challenged. But there is no denying that this book is a major new contribution to US Christian political theology and should be read by all Christians.” (David P. Gushee, Distinguished Professor of Christian Ethics and Director, Center for Theology & Public Life, Mercer University, USA; Vice President, American Academy of Religion )

“In a richly prophet book, Studebaker underscores the significant resources of the Holy Spirit (and the Pentecostal community in which they are celebrated) for living in the cities of both Jerusalem and Babylon.  Rejecting both the Platonic asceticism that caused Christians to abandon the world, on the one hand, as well as ‘the triumphalism and presumption’ of the Prosperity Gospel on the other, Studebaker rightly calls for a rich and balanced engagement with American culture by Christians with an eye to transformation and human flourishing. What has emerged from such an engaging effort is nothing less than a solid re-affirmation of what has been so long neglected: that is, the God of redemption is none other than the God of creation. I highly recommend this book!” (Kenneth J. Collins, Professor of Historical Theology and Wesley Studies, Asbury Theological Seminary, USA; author of “Power, Politics and the Fragmentation of Evangelicalism”)