By Craig S. Keener
Because of its clarity and equity and faithfulness to the Scriptures, this ebook made my Top-10 record of Pentecostal/Charismatic works that help the continuation of the presents of the Spirit and/or the baptism within the Spirit (list should be considered at the origin for Pentecostal Scholarship's website, scroll to backside and click "more"). I heartily advise this ebook for someone attracted to the Holy Spirit and his gifts.
Concerning the presents of the Spirit, Keener doesn't arbitrarily divide them into supernatural ("sign") and non-supernatural presents and claim that the supernatural presents have ceased (a trust known as "cessationism"). in truth, he believes that "cessationism wouldn't obviously ensue to a person analyzing the biblical textual content who had now not already been taught the location or didn't have an experiential bias that demanded it" (107).
He cogently explains how all the major scriptures that cessationists use to truncate the presents of the Spirit for our day are misinterpreted via the cessationists (for instance, 1 Cor 13:8-12; Eph 2:20; Heb 2:3-4). He introduces his dialogue of one Cor 13:8-12, writing, "In the process Paul's argument that the presents are transitority, we examine while Paul expects them to cross away. The church will now not desire such presents after we comprehend as we're identified . . . , that's once we see Christ head to head (13:12)" (105).
But this booklet isn't just in regards to the presents of the Spirit; Keener additionally discusses the baptism within the Holy Spirit. He accurately argues that "the entire sphere of the Spirit's paintings turns into to be had at conversion, yet believers may perhaps event a few facets of the Spirit's paintings in simple terms next to conversion" (151). he is bearing on the filling of the Holy Spirit (for empowerment to evangelize), which was once thought of normative in Luke's day, as he illustrates with Acts eight and the Samaritan Christians who have been missing this empowerment yet which Peter and John speedy remedied. even if this incident of Spirit reception (Luke makes use of quite a few names for it) and the others (see Acts 2, nine, 10, 19) are usually deemed "exceptions" by means of non-Pentecostals, Keener observes that "When 4 of our 5 biblical examples are "exceptions," . . . , one is tempted to question the validity of the "rule" (162).
Furthermore, Keener argues, "To ensure, lots of the occasions Luke studies are unheard of in a few feel, narrating the sporting forth of the gospel (with the attendant Christian baptism and the present of the Spirit) to varied teams of individuals. yet this hardly ever implies that Luke wishes us to imagine that styles he establishes between varied teams ceased in his personal day. fairly, he wishes us to acknowledge that this development follows all Christians despite their heritage. Being packed with the Spirit could be an ordinary a part of all Christians' lives" (162).
He incorporates a valuable dialogue of the Acts-as-history argument, concluding that "We dare now not underestimate the importance of Luke's testimony, simply because Acts is the one New testomony ebook that without delay depicts early Christianity . . ." (158). He devotes an appendix to this dialogue and in it states, "The proven fact that our conventional approach to extracting doctrine from Scripture doesn't paintings good on narrative doesn't suggest that Bible tales don't ship transparent messages. as an alternative, it means that the way in which we follow our conventional approach to interpretation is insufficient simply because we're ignoring an excessive amount of of God's notice. . . . The "narrative" manner of reading Bible tales, in truth, exhibits us easy methods to learn the Epistles adequately" (212).
Although Keener intersperses lifestyles reports together with his exegesis, this is often no cause to accuse him of basing his conclusions on subjectivity. he's easily illustrating exegesis with narrative. in reality, he states, "I needs to conform my event to the Bible instead of the Bible to my adventure" (111) and that "Scripture is the 'canon,' the 'measuring stick,' consequently, the ultimate arbiter of revelation" (123). For Pentecostals and Charismatics, we don't have any "experiential bias" that drives us to dispense with the supernatural presents. particularly, we think that our reviews are borne out by way of the Scriptures and through Christ's promise that he may empower us to do our half in evangelizing the area (Acts 1:8).
Charismatics, 3rd Wavers, and Pentecostals can revenue much from Keener's light nudging and chiding all through. He writes that "the Spirit's coming produces presents, yet specially fruit. . . . [T]he paintings of the Spirit needs to pass deeper than Spirit-led utterances and preliminary reviews on my own" (57).
Hopefully, what i have highlighted during this evaluate won't provide the flawed impact. this isn't a detrimental, hostile publication, yet a balanced booklet written in an irenic spirit about--as its subtitle says--the Holy Spirit this day. So in case you are attracted to what the Holy Spirit can do on your existence this day and the way he can use you as his device this day, this can be the booklet for you.
--Robert W. Graves, President, the root for Pentecostal Scholarship
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Extra info for Gift and Giver: The Holy Spirit for Today
Although we apply the word fellowship glibly today to any conversation between Christians, Paul ernphasizes the "fellowship of the Spirit" (2: 1; see also Acts 2:42-44; 2 Coro 13:14; 1 John 1:3). As important as customary interpersonal bonding may be, our unity runs deeper than that: The same Ood lives inside all true Christians, and no eme can act like a Christian while despising another member of Christ's body.
The Gospcls te11us that John the Baptist announceJ that Jesus would haptize people in the Spirit. We will examine this promise in greater Jetail in Matthew later in this book, hut here we turn to Mark's account. The CJospel of Mark offers us the most concise summary of this story, because The Spirit Empowers Us tor Evangelism 67 Mark includcs this account in his introduction, and introductions were supposeJ to be short and ro the point. Thus, Mark includes only the most rclevant points and uses them to introduce the major thernes ofhis Gospe1.
Esus finally dies but conquers death itself in the resurrection. This is the model for Spirit-fi11ed existence: A Christian rnust be ready to display God's power but also to pay the price of death for doing so. 9 Mark was "charismatic" in the sense that he emphasized the power of the Spirit for doing God's work. But he was quite different from the kind of charismatics today who ernphasize only the blessings of serving God. Mark recognized that the Spirit ernpowers us to do exploits for God but also to suffer for his honor.