The key doctrinal textbook, used by Pentecostal church leaders, Bible college students and studiers of theology for decades, is making a new debut with significant updates and revisions.
LOS ANGELES — During The Foursquare Church’s annual convention, to be held at the Anaheim Convention Center, May 29-June 1, the denomination is releasing a revised and updated edition of its Foundations of Pentecostal Theology.
First published in 1983, the book was written by the late legendary Foursquare pastors and leaders Guy P. Duffield and Nathaniel M. Van Cleve at the request of noted pastor and former Foursquare President Jack Hayford. The updated edition is releasing in coordination with Foursquare’s Centennial year efforts.
Ted Vail, D.I.S., Foursquare’s vice president of global operations, says the book not only documents the theology of the movement globally but also serves as a unifying force for Foursquare leaders in the U.S.
“This articulation of theology is so important to us,” Vail says. “We are a growing global movement and, as such, this text is increasingly important to us. This book provides in one volume a baseline theology. Speaking as both a local pastor and missionary, this world gets exposed to a lot of crazy stuff and ‘winds of doctrine.’ This updated edition clarifies significant points of doctrine that have been around since 2012. We are now finally able to get it on peoples’ shelves.”
A printed copy of the 784-page single volume will be presented to each credentialed U.S. Foursquare minister who attends Foursquare Connection in Anaheim, Calif.; the event also celebrates Foursquare’s centennial. “It’s important that Foursquare ministers have access to the most up-to-date version of this resource,” Vail adds, explaining why they are giving away the volume. “This book includes both clarifications and doctrine updates, which is why we are gifting it to Foursquare credentialed ministers at Foursquare Connection.” In addition, anyone can download a complimentary e-book through the end of June at foursquare.church/FOPT.
At the Global Summit at Angelus Temple on May 28, a free volume will be presented to each international Foursquare leader. In addition to Spanish, the book has been translated into French, Arabic, Portuguese and Mandarin. Work is in process on Albanian, Italian, Farsi (Iran), Nepali and Turkish translations.
In addition to hardbound copies, a paperback edition will also be published. The latter will be primarily for use in other nations, says Steve Schell, D.Min., the former chairperson of the 20-member doctrine committee that began a six-year-long update of the original version in 2011. In addition to changing the lead translation from the King James Version to the New King James Version, Schell says the committee updated country names, and clarified and amplified language on such topics as healing and baptism with the Holy Spirit.
“Pastor Jack [Hayford] called and asked me, ‘Would you revise the chapter on healing?’” Schell recalls. “The previous version had a tone where you came away thinking if you weren’t healed, it was your fault. The update has a pastoral tone. Pastor Jack knew that there are situations where people had wonderful faith but didn’t get healed, and others where people were dramatically healed with very little faith.”
In a 2012 letter to Schell and former Corporate Secretary Sterling Brackett, Hayford mentioned how he had approached Duffield and Van Cleve—then both professors at LIFE Bible College (now Life Pacific University)—to write the work when Pastor Jack was president of the Los Angeles-area school in 1977.
“I wrote the foreword to the book, written to address the mood of the times,” the late Jack Hayford said in 2012. “I don’t know if recent editions retain it, but at last reading it still seemed applicable … it has become a treasure of stability sought by many people in many nations and languages.”
Although an exact count isn’t available, Schell says numerous denominations, Bible colleges and seminaries use Foundations.
“We gave out an introduction about the [first printing] and then went to some select committees and handed them books one by one,” Schell explains. “Sterling would say, ‘This book was started by Jack Hayford’ and the body language changed. Everybody wanted a copy then. I had bishops coming up and saying, ‘Can I have another copy? My son is on the mission field.’”
The book includes a 110-page study guide, which Schell says enables pastors to use it like a “school in the box.” Anyone can teach it, and the guide includes answers to questions for students who don’t have help readily available. People in the U.S. who think it’s easy for those in other nations to just go online and look up information haven’t been in other nations, he says.
The book’s availability for free for the global audience is significant, Vail notes, since the more good theology the church can place in the hands of any growing movement the better its foundation will be. “Any place there’s expansion, if you have good theology to build on—especially among new believers—their chances of avoiding error are much better,” Vail says. “I worked with Pastor Jack, and he saw in the U.S. and globally how bad theology and bad doctrine set the stage for so many heartaches.
The book will be available for purchase on Amazon starting May 29, 2023.
For an advance review copy, email [email protected], or visit foursquare.church/FOPT through the end of June 2023.
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