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Engaging with the Holy Spirit: Real Questions, Practical Answers [Kindle Edition]

Graham A. Cole , David Peterson
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Despite the growth of the charismatic movement and Pentecostal churches, people still have questions-and even troubling concerns-about the person and work of the Holy Spirit. These real questions are the burden of this book, which seeks to sequentially address from throughout Scripture six crucial questions that affect a person's relationship to the Spirit:

  • What is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit?
  • How does a person resist him?
  • Ought we to pray to the Spirit?
  • How do we quench the Spirit?
  • How do we grieve the Spirit? and
  • How does he fill us?

Each chapter is devoted to one question and challenges readers about their relationship with the Spirit and about Christian living in general. Readers are also given key elements for thinking theologically and implications for their belief and behavior. It's a brief, reader-friendly book full of solid, reassuring answers.

Editorial Reviews


"I cannot imagine that there are many pastors who have not heard each of the six questions that Graham Cole raises. Here are serious, careful, practical, theologically alert answers. This book deserves the widest circulation."
D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

"Pneumatology has been sadly neglected in recent evangelical theology, and when it has been touched upon, it has trended toward either the speculative or the sensational. But here is a book on the Holy Spirit that is practical, relevant, balanced, and useful in the lives of God's people everywhere. This book provides important grounding for a fuller theology of the Holy Spirit, and I commend it to all believers who are serious about the Christian life."
Timothy George, Founding Dean, Beeson Divinity School; general editor, Reformation Commentary on Scripture

"Drawing from the well of his extensive and rigorous study of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, Graham Cole gives refreshingly clear answers to six crucial questions that earnest Christians invariably ask. The answers are sure to grace the church, because what Christians believe about the third Person of the Trinity will determine how they live. This is an important, accessible, life-giving book."
R. Kent Hughes, Senior Pastor Emeritus, College Church, Wheaton, Illinois

"When churches wrestle with division over contradictory views related to the work of the Holy Spirit, this book will provide lucid and succinct guidance. When individuals fear they have grieved the Holy Spirit, Dr. Cole's teaching will provide clarity and encouragement. When church leaders long for their congregations to know the filling of the Spirit of God, they will find wisdom in this book. I recommend it highly."
Greg Waybright, Former President, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; Senior Pastor, Lake Avenue Church, Pasadena, California

About the Author

Graham A. Cole is Anglican Professor of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School. An ordained Anglican minister, he has served in two parishes and was formerly the principal of Ridley College, University of Melbourne. He has written articles for numerous theological journals and has contributed to several books as well as authoring Engaging with the Holy Spirit.

Product Details

  • File Size: 426 KB
  • Print Length: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway Books (June 15, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DC3C5KK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #463,318 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Positive, Calvinistic Study of the Holy Spirit October 22, 2011
I would tend to agree with one reviewer on the author's Calvinist viewpoint regarding the person and work of the Holy Spirit. There is no doubt that Graham Cole is a Calvinist and he does spend much of his time quoting from Calvinist theologians such as John Calvin or John Owen. As an Arminian I would disagree with some of the aspects of Cole's views regarding the Holy Spirit such as the Calvinistic doctrine of effectual calling. Yet I had no trouble reading this book. The quotes that Cole cites from various Calvinists such as Calvin, Owen, Edwards, Packer, or even Grudem was not troublesome for me as I know that as an Arminian I would quote from Arminians if I wrote the same book.

This book is a "short" study of the Spirit in that Cole doesn't spend much time dealing with some aspects of the Spirit's nature or work such as His divinity. Cole simply tells us that the Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4). Cole also takes some other assumptions as well such as that his readers would be familiar with Calvinism. He also touches on the issue of the cessation of the revelatory gifts but not as detailed as I would like. Like another reviewer stated, it seems some cessasionists have given in to the argument over this issue though I feel that they need not to.

Overall this is a worthwhile book on the Holy Spirit. A deeper study from a Calvinist viewpoint would be Dr. Larry Pettegrew's book, "The New Covenant Ministry of the Holy Spirit". For a good Pentecostal study see Anthony Palma's book, "Holy Spirit: A Pentecostal Perspective."
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Adversative Pneumatology April 23, 2008
Cole, author of He Who Gives Life: The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit, approaches the practical difficulties dutifully faced when presented with the theological minefield of Christianity: the Holy Spirit. The reason why he interacts in this book with questions pertaining to the practical outworking of our understanding of the Holy Spirit, is that more and more Christians appear to be returning to the Gnosticism of the 2nd century church. "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" Acts 19:2. The rise of the charismatic movement and the growth of Pentecostal churches worldwide soon made their comment, out of date.' p 15 Paul had not yet named it, or labeled it 'proto-gnosticism' as such, for it was a new phenomenon to the church, presumably originating through a lack of sound teaching. By logical extension the church throughout its history had to contend with various strains of Gnosticism - always from within its own ranks.

The Question & Answer format therefore seeks to pose troubling, penetrating and recurring questions, as if asked by the faithful Bible-reading believer him or herself. This then settles into an informed, scholarly and orderly presentation of the correct expectations to have with regard to the function, work and interaction of the Holy Spirit as God.

'The doctrine of the internal, effectual call is the way Reformed theology explains different reactions to the heard Word as portrayed in the book of Acts. It does so in terms of the sovereign grace of God at work through the Holy Spirit, in some but not all.' p 50

'The NT presents not only an evangel, but also an ethic.
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4.0 out of 5 stars great summary February 20, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is a clear read on some difficult questions. However, Cole is not afraid to come to definite conclusions. He does not indulge in complex discussions, but neither does he shy away from deep reasoning. Overall, highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent October 10, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is excellent. Small but very rich in content. truly a book to be recommended and be a part of your library.
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More About the Author

Graham A. Cole is professor of biblical and systematic theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. An ordained Anglican minister, he has served in two parishes and was formerly the principal of Ridley College, University of Melbourne. He has written articles for numerous theological journals and has contributed to several books as well as authoring Engaging with the Holy Spirit.

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