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Flame of Love: A Theology of the Holy Spirit Paperback – April 27, 1999

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: InterVarsity Press (April 27, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830815902
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830815906
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,976 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Pinnock's reputation as an "open" Evangelical is sure to be enhanced by this book. The catholicity of his approach--he draws on Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Orthodox sources--is evident and is likely to deepen discussion even where it evokes suspicion. At the heart of Pinnock's theology is a social conception of the Trinity that recovers the understanding of spirit as active in transformation of the world. In his discussion of gender and language, he at least nods toward feminist criticism--but still opts for masculine pronouns. That is one of several limits to openness that will remind readers of the historical tension between Christianity's "universal" proclamation and its "exclusive" claims--appropriate territory for a theology of spirit in a theologically and religiously plural society. Steve Schroeder --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"I greet Clark Pinnock's book with praise for his seriousness and intellectual courage. Flame of Love is evangelical: a biblically grounded systematic theology for our time with an ecumenical openness to the truth about the Holy Spirit in other Christian traditions and the newer Pentecostal movements." (JÜrgen Moltmann, University of TÜbingen)

"Recently a rapprochement has been occurring between evangelical Protestantism and Eastern Orthodoxy. Flame of Love advances the meeting and is bound to deepen understanding. . . . Pinnock's book is not only a comprehensive and profoundly trinitarian work, it is also beautifully written, filled with grace and a joy to read." (Vigen Guroian, Loyola College in Maryland)

"Clark Pinnock's Flame of Love is a timely book for American evangelicalism, bringing its doctrines into the mainstream of classical Christian faith and teaching. . . . It reaps a vast harvest of recent developments in theology--trinitarian doctrine, Spirit-Christology, theosis-soteriology, sacramental spirituality, charismatic renewal and interreligious dialogue, among others." (Carl E. Braaten, Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology)

"At last the Christian community has a sound Pentecostal theology to guide the still growing renewal movement of the Holy Spirit. Flame of Love is solidly biblical, ecumenical in appeal, evangelical in spirit. . . . Most important, it prophetically challenges tendencies toward quenching of the Spirit and toward excessive enthusiasm that have plagued this spiritual renewal." (Roger E. Olson, George W. Truett Theological Seminary)

"This is an impassioned, yet reasonable and sometimes lyrical tribute to the Holy Spirit. In surely his most important and ecumenical work, Clark Pinnock picks up the Spirit-longings of a culture. . . . This work will stand as an important contribution to a neglected subject and may well become a theological bridge between mainstream, evangelical and charismatic understandings." (Linda A. Mercadante, Methodist Theological School in Ohio)

"Flame of Love is vintage Clark Pinnock. . . . Above all, the book reveals his passion for the triune God, and it shows how deeply he has drunk from the well of the Spirit about whom he writes. It provides a way not only into Pinnock's head--indeed it is the best summary to date of his entire theological odyssey--but also into his heart." (Stanley J. Grenz, Carey/Regent College)

"Drawing upon Eastern Orthodox, Wesleyan, Roman Catholic and Reformed traditions, Clark Pinnock forges an ecumenical, evangelical theology of the Spirit that deserves serious consideration by the whole church. Even those who take different positions on some of these questions will appreciate the author's willingness to dialogue in the spirit of Christian love." (Donald G. Bloesch, emeritus professor of theology, Dubuque Theological Seminary)

Customer Reviews

Great book for gaining a greater understanding the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
What really would be interesting is to see if there are some books along this line that get us deeper into Pinnock's background.
Kevin Wayne
I don't know about everything he has written but I think every denomination would be encouraged and blessed by this book.
SLTS student

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By SKClimacus on April 9, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Written by Clark Pinnock, 'Flame of Love' is a mini systematic theology written with a pneumatological emphasis. Theology, Cosmology, Christology, Ecclesiology, Soteriology, Eschatology, and the doctrine of the Word are all covered, each seen through the lens of the Spirit. Pinnock has tried to emphasize the dynamism of the Spirit's presence in the world, and the importance of a relational understanding of God's communion with man.

When I first read this book, for some reason I dismissed it. Perhaps because the style is somewhat stilted. But having returned to it several times over the course of two years, I find myself being edified by it again and again. Pinnock brings out observations about God's character that I had not thought about before, through Scripture passages I had not considered. And so, the more I read 'Flame of Love' the more I am impressed by the depth of his theology, and the personal challenges it presents to me as an evangelical struggling to make sense of my relationship to God. I've read my share of theologians, many of whom I have read with an academic interest that has rarely touched the core of my being, but somehow Pinnock's works actually edify my mind and my soul, and each book I've put down has palpably helped me reach greater intimacy with God.

One of the things that struck me most about Pinnock's theology is its orthodox character. Many Reformed people criticize Pinnock as an innovator whose beliefs stand outside the pale of Christian orthodoxy (small 'o'). But it was remarkable to compare 'Flame of Love' with Bishop Kallistos Ware's 'The Orthodox Way', or his open theistic views with those of Richard Swinburne (a recent convert to Eastern Orthodoxy).
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Loffers on September 17, 1999
Format: Paperback
I was deeply encouraged by this book.
It is well written and includes the scholarly depth (including a wealth of notes an references) that I was looking for in a theological text of this nature. I was also keen to read first hand some of the work by this much talked about (good and bad) writer.
The surprise to me was also the beauty of this work. It is devotionally enjoyable and really communicates to both the intellect and the heart something of the passion and joy of Holy Spirit's pervasive work among a much loved creation.
I heartily commend it and it provides a good platform from which to consider some of the more controvertial statements for which Pinnock is famous. It certainly convinced me that here is a man with a theological model which is worthy of further consideration. It really does encourage both a more biblical and a more spirit-led life from what might be branded a post-modern theology.
Read and enjoy.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By M. G. Maness on August 25, 2004
Format: Paperback
____Clark Pinnock is one of the most productive theologians in the 20th century. Contrary to some of the other critics, this book is less about open theism and more about God's dynamic relationship with us. It is a master work that no classical theist has to date come up to with respect to raw theologizing in defending God's dynamic work "through" His Spirit in our world in "classical" theism. Many classical theists can complain--and they do with a vengeance--but let them provide some substance. On open theism itself, Pinnock has now weighed in with his Most Moved Mover that blasts through the settled God of classical theism with far more kindness, erudition, finesse, and "Christian" spirit than Pinnock's adversaries (Bruce Ware and John Frame in particular, and I take these two to task in the appendices of my own book, Heart of the Living God, seen at [...]

____What Pinnock has done, as one author has said, is look seriously as all of the Bible believing traditions. Pinnock is certainly not Roman Catholic (RC), but that also does not mean that RC theologians do not have a lot to contribute (even classical Protestant theologians quote and profit from sterline RC theologians). We don't have to agree on every point to see God working in many traditions, and the Bible is the authoritative guide. Pinnock takes us to new levels of sophistication--even daringly so--with just what the Holy Spirit's activity means in our lives today.

____I say some of this to my own chagrin, for in my schools (Criswell College, SWBTS, NOBTS, from 1978 to 1997) Pinnock's work was not given a fair shake. I know now why.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Wayne on February 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
OK, so you can listen to the guy who's copy/pasting stuff from some other article (twice even!) OR, you can find out what's in this book for yourself. Here's a synopsis of just one of the chapters of "Flame of Love", from my Theology final for seminary.
This is focusing on three concepts, as they appear in Ch.3 "Spirit & Christology" in this book:
(P. 87) (Pinnock tells us)"Following the baptism (of Christ), Spirit took the initiative and drove Jesus into the wilderness to be tested. As a representative of the human race, Jesus was going to have to experience what Adam suffered and conquer it. The temptations were aimed at his vocation as the anointed representative of humankind."
So for Pinnock, representation seems very much the same thing as recapitulation. Christ is self-emptied and dependent on the Spirit, much as we would have to be in order to conquer the temptations of Satan. This is the author's view of how Christ "becomes" our savior.
The author discusses C.S. Lewis on this concept (P. 105) and states "Christ became human in order to exist vicariously for us, that we might share in his life, death, and resurrection. In this view we are saved by identifying with him and becoming like him." This is the author's view of how we enter into the salvation offered by Jesus Christ.
Pinnock writes "Something happened through the total journey of Jesus Christ that literally change the world and opened the door wide to union with God." (p.93) Later he adds (p.95) "This is the theme of Irenaeus and the fist theory of atonement.
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More About the Author

Clark H. Pinnock is professor of theology at McMaster Divinity College.

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