- Paperback: 168 pages
- Publisher: Eerdmans (August 20, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0802824641
- ISBN-13: 978-0802824646
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,865,369 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Holy Spirit (Eerdmans Guides to Theology) Paperback – August 20, 2008
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— Baylor University
"The Holy Spirit is an excellent addition to the Guides to Theology series and will be an enormous help to students and others interested in historical theology. Shults and Hollingsworth make the doctrine of the Holy Spirit come alive through their recounting of its development and contemporary interpretations. Even more, they point readers to the person of the Holy Spirit as a living presence and not just a concept in intellectual history."
— Regent University
"This Guides to Theology volume on the Holy Spirit will not disappoint either teachers (at both undergraduate and graduate levels) or students. The authors superbly introduce their topic by surveying the history of Christian theology and the contemporary scene, deftly identify salient philosophical and spiritual-experiential issues regarding the Holy Spirit, and provide an informative annotated bibliography of relevant sources — all in only 150 pages! "
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The authors review the patristic, medieval and reformation interpretations of the Holy Spirit, and cover the filioque controversy. Then they cover protestant scholasticism and pietism, modern liberalism and fundamentalism, pentacostalism, the ecumenical movement, feminist and liberation theology, and other twentieth-century reconstructions.
Shults concludes with Transforming Pneumatology, in which he identifies three philosophical categories which "have had a particularly significant role in the formulations of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit throughout the history of the church: matter, person and force.
Matter is no longer considered arbitrarily separate from spirit. "Albert Einstein's recognition that 'matter' and 'energy' are transferable (E=mc squared) has made it possible for theorists in sciences of emergent complexity to conceptualize what has traditionally been called 'spirit' ... as in some sense a qualification of matter." (p. 90). Therefore theology must avoid collapsing into dualism (or diesm) and not "inadvertently collapse into monism (or pantheism) by simply conflating the concepts of Spirit and matter." (p. 94)
Person is no longer just an individual substance of a rational nature (Boethius), or just the intellect and will in the individual soul (Augustine). "Today, human personhood is understood as emerging within and mediated through the relationality of interpersonal and social systems. Neuroscientists have shown that rationality and emotion (which is embodied) are integrated in the human organism." (p. 91) Therefore theology must "avoid not only the modalist tendencies of psychological models of the Trinity, but also the tri-theistic leanings of some of the social trinitarian models." (p. 94)
Force is no longer the equivalent of mass times acceleration. "When mass and motion (velocity) were integrated within fields of energy (E=mc squared), this opened up new possibilities for conceptualizing the human experience of temporality and causation." (p. 92) Therefore theology must depict "the power of the divine Spirit in a way that escapes the constraints of early modern fatalism ... and voluntarism (an emphasis on the efficacy of the will, divine and human) without giving up on the idea of God as the absolute ground of all things." (p. 95)
If you need an annotated bibliography of theological and philosophical treatises on the Holy Spirit, and a brief history of the development of the theology of the Holy Spirit, then this book is for you.