Recently I was asked the following question via Facebook Messenger (see…Facebook can be useful and constructive):
Do you see any differences between the “Springfield school” and “Cleveland School” of Pentecostalism? If so, what do you think they are?
I’ve had multiple conversations with Daniel Isgrigg about his use of the label “Springfield School”. It is highly problematic and the only (to my knowledge) one who ever used it in writing is James K.A. Smith who wrote “Springfield School (?)” in a footnote and does not appear to himself regard it as a “School” of thought or methodology. My own argument is that it is not actually a “School” even though whatever it is may in fact represent majority views of interpretation, etc. within broader Pentecostal circles.
My observation (perhaps I’m wrong) is that the “Springfield School” leans more Reformed, Evangelical, Dispensational, Fundamentalist, whereas the “Cleveland School” leaned more Wesleyan and strives to produce a hermeneutical distinction between Pentecostalism and the rest of Evangelicalism. The Cleveland School *seems* to be more comfortable with the Great Tradition of the Church than the “Springfield School”. Am I off base? There just seems to be a different “feel”, for lack of a better word.