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God the Spirit Paperback – January 5, 2004

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Paperback, January 5, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Welker's theology of the Holy Spirit may prove intimidating to some general readers, but--given a widespread interest in spirituality that cuts across ideological, political, and theological lines--it should be made available to readers willing to take it on. Welker justifies the book theologically and practically as giving the Holy Spirit precedence over law and gospel. That will please the charismatic communities of which he is constantly aware, and it may hold their interest through his detailed depiction of the Holy Spirit as "public person." That depiction seems intended to bridge a gap between mainline, academic theologies of the Spirit and popular movements that have most often erupted on the edges of theology and the academy. To the extent that it provides a common language and begins to focus both participants and observers of the various charismatic movements on the kinds of "publics" they are constructing, it will provide an invaluable service. Its largest audience will be among mainline and theologically inclined Protestant observers of charismatic movements, but its thorough exploration of biblical material will prove illuminating to academically inclined participants as well. Steve Schroeder

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Fortress Press; 1st English-language ed edition (January 5, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800627660
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800627669
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #745,373 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Gordon J. Straw on December 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
I have found this book to be one of the most significant works on the Holy Spirit in a generation. Although it doesn't answer all questions, it shouldn't have to. His position on Pentecostalism and the Charismatic movement is as an outsider looking in, but seems to look upon their concerns quite favorably. His biblical and historical surveys are good. His section on the 'outpouring of the Holy Spirit' is worth the five stars alone. He presents a credible argument against the traditional modern understanding of the Holy Spirit and for an understanding that places the Holy Spirit directly into the lives of believers and into the heart of Christian theology. The Holy Spirit does not take a back seat here as in most Christian theology.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy Garber on August 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
Michael Welker provides an excellent, systematic look at the mentions of the Spirit in the Hebrew and Christian Bible and their implications for communities today. Welker rejects abstract and mystical "inexplicable" understandings of the Holy Spirit and provides an overview of the varied, complicated, and yet detailed and real pictures of the Spirit working both in the world of Scripture and in our world today. Welker works within what he describes as "realistic theology," "a theology that is related to various structural patterns of experience and that cultivates a sensitivity to the differences of those various patterns." Welker's realistic theology displays intriguing similarities to the philosophical work of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, insisting on a complex and ever-changing understanding of the Spirit - and that complexity and change are characteristics of the Spirit itself. Nonetheless, Welker insists, not any old change will do. Spirit-led change is characterized by the intersection of the knowledge of God, justice and mercy - and you can't have any one of the three without the other two. A community infused by the Spirit of God will display love, a "free self-withdrawal and self-giving for the benefit of other creatures." Welker backs up his theological assertions with the full range of Scriptural investigations from Samson up to the Pauline church. A dense read, well-written but definitely technical; excellent for professional theologians and possibility upper-level graduate seminars. At the bottom, if the church would take seriously Welker's (biblical) notion of the Spirit that infuses a community with love to make a difference in the here in now, a lot more people would be both spiritual and religious.
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4 of 15 people found the following review helpful By David Zampino VINE VOICE on August 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
As a clergyman involved in the Charismatic movement, but also grounded in traditional theological methods, I did not find this book convincing. In my opinion, (and personal experience) Welker's emphasis on freedom in the Spirit can and has led to abuses in the name of that freedom. In the last 50 years, many things in the Church have been justified in the name of "freedom in the Spirit" -- a number of which have been nothing more than exercises in self-justification.
I cannot, in good conscience, recommend this book.
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