Tag Archives | spirit

Scripture & Spirit | Craig S. Keener

Craig KeenerThe reason God gives us Scripture as well as the Spirit is to provide a more objective guide and framework for our personal experience of God; it defeats the purpose of having a Bible if it simply becomes a mine for what we hope to find there anyway, whether theologically or experientially.

—Keener, Spirit Hermeneutics, 32.

Spirit Prophecy | Roger Stronstad

Roger StronstadThe phrase “filled with the Holy Spirit” in the Pentecost narrative, and throughout Luke-Acts, always describes a specific, though potentially repetitive, act of prophetic inspiration.

—Roger Stronstad. The Charismatic Theology of St. Luke: Trajectories from the Old Testament to Luke-Acts. Second Edition. Grand Rapids, MI: BakerAcademic, 1984, 2012, 61.

The Charismatic Theology of St. Luke | Roger Stronstad

The cover of Stronstad's The Charismatic Theology of St. LukeIt is easy to forget that what we call the Bible (singular) is actually a library of many books and letters from many Spirit-inspired authors each with their own story and message. In The Charismatic Theology of St. Luke, Stronstad takes Luke’s book, the historical narrative we know as Luke and Acts, on its own merits.

When you take Luke at his word instead of subjugating him to Paul, certain themes in Luke-Acts become crystal clear. You begin to hear the echoes of the LXX in Luke’s text. You are able to see Jesus as the Spirit-filled prophet who transfers his Spirit to his community. You are able to see the the empowering vocational purpose of Spirit-Baptism.

Pentecostals often speak of Luke-Acts as a “canon within the canon.” I find that sort of language unhelpful in that it depreciates the rest of the biblical witness. I do, however, applaud any effort to allow the Biblical witness to speak in its full diversity.


Stronstad, Roger. The Charismatic Theology of St. Luke: Trajectories from the Old Testament to Luke-Acts. Second Edition. Grand Rapids, MI: BakerAcademic, 1984, 2012.

Body of Christ | Mark J. Cartledge

Mark J. CartledgeWhile the Holy Spirit is not restricted to the church, and importantly the church does not “own” or “dispense” the Holy Spirit, there is a constitutive role of the Spirit in the church ontologically. It is not just a religious club or a national institution. It is the “body of Christ” united to its head by means of the Spirit.

—Mark J. Cartledge, The Mediation of the Spirit: Interventions in Practical Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2015), 138.

The Shadow of the Almighty | Ben Witherington III & Laura M. Ice

The cover of Witherington & Ice's The Shadow of the AlmightyThe Trinity—one God in three persons—is a challenge to understand. To make matters worse, scripture contains no explicit theology of the Trinity. It does, however, speak often of God as Father, Son, and Spirit. This type of biblical language is what Witherington III and Ice study in The Shadow of the Almighty.

The authors argue that “Father” language for God is not prevalent in the Old Testament. God desired to be a Father to Israel, but Israel was unfaithful. It is only when Jesus became incarnate that God was spoken of as Father. He is the unique father of Jesus (who called him my Father). The church, having received adoption into the family of God, now calls God our Father.

The Shadow of the Almighty is a helpful survey of Father, Son, and Spirit language in scripture. The authors help to make a complex topic more accessible.

—Ben Witherington III and Laura M. Ice, The Shadow of the Almighty: Father, Son, and Spirit in Biblical Perspective (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2002).

The Mediation of the Spirit | Mark J. Cartledge

The cover of Cartledge's The Mediation of the SpiritMark J. Cartledge straddles two worlds. On the one hand, he is a Pentecostal/Charismatic (P/C) scholar, a member of the Society for Pentecostal Studies. On the other hand, he is a member of the Academy of Practical Theology. In his entry in Eerdman’s Pentecostal Manifestos series, Cartledge brings his worlds into dialogue by offering a P/C perspective on practical theology.

Cartledge’s argument centres on the concept of mediation. After identifying a desperate lack of substantive scriptural engagement in the field of practical theology, he takes a close look at the Spirit-reception texts in Acts, uncovering five different forms of mediation (109):

  1. “Christ mediates the Holy Spirit to the church.”
  2. “The Holy Spirit mediates Christ and the Father to the church.”
  3. “Creation mediates the Holy Spirit to the church.”
  4. “The church mediates the Holy Spirit internally (via individuals, groups, worship, and practices).”
  5. “The church mediates the Holy Spirit externally (via individuals, groups, public worship, and practices).”

Cartledge then applies this understanding of mediation in two different ways. On a practical level, he reviews a congregational study by Mary McClintock Fulkerson, identifying ways the study could be improved through a deeper understanding of mediation. On an academic level, he uses his understanding of mediation to challenge the weak soteriology which exists in the field of practical theology.

The Mediation of the Spirit functions on two levels. Cartledge first provides a valuable addition to P/C studies and practical theology through his scriptural understanding of mediation. On a more theoretical level, he uncovers some systemic oversight in the field of Practical Theology and marks the trail for P/C scholars to continue to contribute to the field of practical theology.

—Mark J. Cartledge, The Mediation of the Spirit: Interventions in Practical Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2015).

1 John 5:6-8 | Spirit, Water, Blood

Trinity

A Russian Icon of the Trinity.

“[fog horn noise] This is your captain speaking. You have been specially selected to receive a free Caribbean Cruise!”

Have you ever received a phone call like that? As ashamed as I am to admit it (and I don’t consider myself to be a very gullible man), I was so excited the first the first I got this call I quickly called my wife. “You’re not going to believe this babe, we’ve won a free cruise!” Of course the cruise wasn’t legitimate. It was a marketing scam used to separate the gullible from their finances by leveraging their greed.

These sort of scams have moved from door-to-door salesmen to letters, to phone calls to internet ads to Facebook profiles. The medium may change, but at least in this case, the message stays the same! The rule of thumb to see through this type of scam is the age-old adage: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
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