Hello again, my friends.
Someone recently asked if I had written anything on the Holy spirit, and while I'm sure I've written something, I wanted to produce some fresh material on the subject since it has been awhile and my perspective has evolved/ shifted/ whatever.
I want to share with you all of my certainties, doubts, and best guesses as to the nature, work, and even gender of the Holy Spirit.
To do this, we will look at the Bible, my personal experience, and a few cherished books from my past.
I don't know how long or short this series will be, but I'll write until I'm done.
Growing up, I was taught the Word-Only view of the indwelling of the Spirit. From this perspective, the only literal indwelling of the Holy Spirit that exists is miraculous indwelling. There is no such thing as a non-miraculous indwelling of the Spirit. Since we cannot practice miracles today, the Holy Spirit must not literally dwell within a person. Instead, the Spirit dwells in us through the Word.
This was the position I held since I was first interested in the subject, but my view on the indwelling of the Spirit has shifted, but there are still a lot of questions I have. I'll share those with you in the coming days.
Until then, what do you think? Does the Spirit literally dwell within the believer? What does that mean? What does that look like? Can we do miracles today? Can you do miracles today? What is a miracle? Is the Spirit male or female? Does the Spirit even have a gender? What is the role of the Spirit in prayer? Singing? Preaching? Are there prophets today?
If you can answer all these questions with 100% certainty, then you are doing better than me!
One Reply to “New Series: A Few Thoughts on the Holy Spirit”
Much of what I appreciate in the line of hermeneutics expressed here concerns trying to locate biblical meaning in its original covenant context. In first century Israel, the Holy Spirit was the divine force that separated the sacred from the profane, life from death, the godly from the godless. The Dead Sea Scrolls speak at length about the Spirit as the power that divides the Sons of Light from the Sons of Darkness. In that case the Holy Spirit convokes the Assembly of the Redeemed our of the world of judgment. The Spirit makes believers interpersonally one in the Body of Christ, and the power of interpersonal Union is itself, of necessity, personal. Since Jesus refers to the Spirit as “another advocate” like himself, the likeness to Jesus loans a plausible masculine nomenclature to the Spirit. The male title of address is significant in organic human discourse because while the mother, by her nature, blurs boundary with the child she bears, the father is always other from the child he begets, outside himself. Otherness is the first ingredient of holiness. In that case, the Holy Spirit grants to the Assembly, per se, the capacity to be Bride to the Lamb and Mother to the faithful. At any rate, the Holy Spirit is an eschatological agent from the heart of God, as Jesus is also revealed to be.