Rick M. Nañez is author of Full Gospel, Fractured Minds? and is a missionary to Ecuador. An Assemblies of God minister for 20 years, Nañez has pastored several ethnic churches as well as traveled around the world teaching about the importance of the life of the mind. CT e-mailed Nañez at his home in Ecuador.
How anti-intellectual is Pentecostalism today?
This is a difficult question to answer. Though we are not as blatantly anti-intellectual as we used to be, we may be in greater danger than before, because today it's more subtle and therefore we're not as aware of it. Let me put it this way. After 22 years in the movement, I'm convinced that the problem is so serious that if we don't arrest this tendency at this juncture in our history, in the decades to follow, we might very well witness a global Christianity that is anti-intellectual. And, if the movement continues to grow as it has, this, in turn, could affect multiple levels of many cultures.
Is such anti-intellectualism simply to be expected when you put an emphasis on the Holy Spirit's ability to work through anyone, trained or not?
No. I really don't think that there's any fundamental discrepancy between the Spirit of God and the intellect of man. I don't think that anyone would argue against the fact that Jesus himself put more emphasis on the Holy Spirit's involvement in life and ministry than any other person in history. Yet this is the same one of whom it's said, in him "are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." So, in the person of Christ, we see the perfect balance of intellect and Spirit.
We all know that the Holy Spirit can work or speak through anyone, educated or noteven a donkey! But believing this doesn't seem to keep us from ...