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The Teaching and Practice of the Apostolic Church, with special reference to its concept of Directive Prophecy (M.Phil)

Thomas, Brynmor (2016) The Teaching and Practice of the Apostolic Church, with special reference to its concept of Directive Prophecy (M.Phil). Masters thesis, Prifysgol Bangor University.

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Abstract

The Apostolic Church in the UK was established in 1916 under the direct supervision and leadership of Pastor Daniel Powell ‘DP’ Williams (1882-1947). He had been considerably influenced by the charismatic ministry of William J. Hutchinson (1864-1928) who had established the Apostolic Faith Church in 1911. Following a disagreement between Hutchinson and Williams, ‘DP’ concentrated his energies on his homeland in West Wales where plans soon came to fruition for the establishment of the Apostolic Church in Wales. Faithfully assisted by his brother William ‘Jones’ Williams (1891-1945), ‘DP’ adopted the practice of directive prophecy as a central tenet of the new denomination. This specific use of the prophetic gift has had wide ranging impact upon the nature and development of the denomination. The Apostolic Church has accepted directive prophecy despite the opposition of the other main stream classical Pentecostal denominations. Classical Pentecostals widely accept the roles of prophecy in the contemporary church to include edification, exhortation and comfort with a possible predictive element. The Apostolic Church is unique in that it inherited both a theology and praxis of directive prophecy from the Apostolic Faith Church. Directive prophecy has been keenly accepted by its adherents and criticised by opponents as a result the Apostolic Church has become somewhat isolated within the Pentecostal movement. This has generally been due to the fact that directive prophecy is considered authoritarian and restrictive by its critics. There is therefore a need to revisit the Apostolic Church’s understanding of directive prophecy and assess its acceptance and practice within the denomination. In order to facilitate this evaluation of directive prophecy this research will therefore consider the following definition of directive prophecy: Directive prophecy is prophecy that instructs the recipient with regard to actions to be taken, location to serve in or steps to be taken that will lead into a greater sense of the purpose of God and its practice within the Apostolic Church. Coupled with this definition, the Apostolic Church has inherited a hierarchical approach to leadership, recognising apostles as the primary leaders with prophets holding a secondary role. However both ministries function together and exercise an authoritative role in the Church. This purpose of this research is to summarise the biblical roles of apostles and prophets and further evaluate the historical development of the use of directive prophecy within the Apostolic Church. In order to evaluate the validity of directive prophecy it will be necessary to establish the historical context of the Apostolic Church, tracing its history over its 100 years of existence, finally considering whether an authoritative role from senior leadership is conducive for contemporary congregations.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: Degree Thesis
Departments: College of Arts and Humanities > School of Philosophy and Religion
Degree Thesis
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2017 09:43
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2017 09:43
URI: http://e.bangor.ac.uk/id/eprint/9821
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