Principalities and Powers: A Historical and Biblical Study with Strategic Application in North American Churches
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This dissertation provides a historical and biblical study of the principalities and powers. It also offers strategic application for North American churches. Chapter 1 introduces the issue of the principalities and powers. Three major contemporary approaches to the principalities and powers are presented, and the impact of worldview is discussed. Chapter 2 offers a historical perspective on the principalities and powers. The following four historical periods are considered: the early church (A.D. 100-500), the medieval period (A.D. 500-1500), the Reformation (A.D. 1500-1800), and the nineteenth and twentieth century (A.D. 1800-Present). For each period considered, attention is given to the predominant interpretation of the principalities and powers as well as the predominant proposed response to the principalities and powers. Chapter 3 presents an analysis of the three major contemporary approaches to the principalities and powers. The primary spokesmen for these approaches are Walter Wink, C. Peter Wagner, and Clinton Arnold. Each of the three contemporary approaches is analyzed in the areas of world view assumptions, interpretation of the principalities and powers, proposed response of the church, and historical justification. Chapter 4 offers a biblical perspective on the principalities and powers. First, the relevant passages are interpreted and discussed. Second, the principalities and powers are discussed systematically by considering the biblical teaching about their creation, their fall, their initial defeat, their struggle, and their final defeat. Chapter 5 argues that standing against the principalities and powers is a corporate response. First, the relationship between the kingdom of God and the church is explained. Second, the importance of world view is again discussed. Finally, a specific strategy is offered for the church's stand against the principalities and powers. A short concluding chapter summarizes the work and offers suggestions for further study.