By Craig S. Keener
As a result 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 starting place for Pentecostal Scholarship's website, scroll to backside and click "more"). I heartily suggest this publication for somebody 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 referred to as "cessationism"). in truth, he believes that "cessationism wouldn't evidently take place to somebody studying the biblical textual content who had no longer 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 through 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 whilst Paul expects them to go away. The church will not want such presents after we recognize as we're recognized . . . , that is once we see Christ nose to nose (13:12)" (105).
But this booklet isn't just concerning the presents of the Spirit; Keener additionally discusses the baptism within the Holy Spirit. He accurately argues that "the complete sphere of the Spirit's paintings turns into on hand at conversion, yet believers could event a few points of the Spirit's paintings in basic terms next to conversion" (151). he is bearing on the filling of the Holy Spirit (for empowerment to evangelize), which used to be 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 supposing this incident of Spirit reception (Luke makes use of numerous names for it) and the others (see Acts 2, nine, 10, 19) are frequently 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 ascertain, lots of the occasions Luke reviews are remarkable in a few experience, narrating the sporting forth of the gospel (with the attendant Christian baptism and the reward of the Spirit) to assorted teams of individuals. yet this not often signifies that Luke desires us to imagine that styles he establishes between diverse teams ceased in his personal day. quite, he desires us to acknowledge that this trend follows all Christians despite their history. Being packed with the Spirit can be a typical a part of all Christians' lives" (162).
He features a important 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 e-book that without delay depicts early Christianity . . ." (158). He devotes an appendix to this dialogue and in it states, "The undeniable 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. in its place, it means that the way in which we observe our conventional approach to interpretation is insufficient simply because we're ignoring an excessive amount of of God's be aware. . . . The "narrative" approach of studying Bible tales, in reality, indicates us easy methods to learn the Epistles effectively" (212).
Although Keener intersperses lifestyles studies together with his exegesis, this can be no cause to accuse him of basing his conclusions on subjectivity. he's easily illustrating exegesis with narrative. actually, he states, "I needs to conform my adventure to the Bible instead of the Bible to my event" (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. fairly, we think that our studies are borne out by way of the Scriptures and by means of Christ's promise that he might empower us to do our half in evangelizing the realm (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 specifically 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 assessment won't provide the fallacious influence. this isn't a unfavourable, opposed e-book, yet a balanced publication written in an irenic spirit about--as its subtitle says--the Holy Spirit this day. So if you are attracted to what the Holy Spirit can do on your lifestyles this present day and the way he can use you as his tool this day, this is often the e-book 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
1: 15; Heb. 1:3). As we look at Jesus and learn of him, we are rransforrned into his image (2 Cor. 3:18; 4:16-18; Col. 3:10), and someday we will see him face to face and take on his character fully (1 Coro 15:49; 1 [ohn 3:2-3). Do we want to reflect God's glory in our lives now? As we leam to know [esus more intimatelv, and like Moses spend time with God on the mountain, we will begin to reflect his glory more thoraughly (2 Cm. 3:3-18). The New Testament takes the claim of a new birth farther than simply the beginning of our Christian life.
Paul, who declares that Christians are new creatures in Christ, cxpects that our very nature and the presence of God's Spirit within us wi11 of themselves produce good fruit, unless we by sinful choices deliberately repress them. The behavior of Christians should flow from our new identity, and our identity is determined not by our past but by our destiny with Christ (Rom. 6:4-5). Paul is not te11ing us that we will always fed new but that we should accept the reality of our newness by faith and live accordingly (Rom.
5:24-25; Flesh and Spirit in Galatian Christianity In Galatia, not everyone shared Paul's understanding of God's grace in Jesus. Sorne Jewish Christian "missionaries" in Galatia were trying ro impose jewish customs on Paul's Gentile converts. The problem was not that these customs were [ewish. The problem was that no customs can save us, and no culture, even one formed in many respects by the Bible, should be mixed up with rhe saving gospel. Throughout Paul's letter to the Galatian Christians, he refutes the claims of these false missionaries.