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Advents of the Spirit, reviewed by Amos Yong

 

Bradford E. Hinze and D. Lyle Dabney, eds., Advents of the Spirit: An Introduction to the Current Study of Pneumatology, Marquette Studies in Theology 30 (Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 2002), 484 pages, ISBN 9780874626797.

There are two main reasons why I want to encourage readers of the Pneuma Review to read this book. The first concerns my passion that we in the Pentecostal and charismatic renewal movements commit ourselves to the fullness of life in the Spirit, which includes loving God not just with our hearts, but also with our minds. As such, it is incumbent upon us to learn how to think through, reflect critically upon, and communicate articulately our experiences of and in the Spirit of God. If the Holy Spirit has been poured out upon us to enable and empower our witness to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8), then should not such witness also be seen and heard in the theological academy and among professional theologians? Arguably, Miroslav Volf’s and D. Lyle Dabney’s essays represent such a voice since both were raised in Pentecostal Churches. However, the current theological identities of both theologians are more mainline and ecumenical than most pentecostals. This is reflected by the editors’ regretting their inability to involve a Pentecostal theologian in this project (p. 23). Rather than trying to fault the editors, this void could also be taken in at least two other ways: either Pentecostals have been marginalized by mainline theologians, or this is an indication that Pentecostal\charismatics have rejected the theological task. While I believe neither is true without severe qualification, I do think that Pentecostals and charismatics need to be sensitive to what should be done to address the issues. One way is to take up the theological task in earnest. One can do no better than by beginning—if one has not already—with this book.

This leads to the second reason why I am recommending this volume to readers of the Pneuma Review. As a Pentecostal, I would have appreciated Pentecostal/charismatic perspectives on the topics taken up in this volume. I am happy to report that there is much we as Pentecostals/charismatics can learn about pneumatology from the non-Pentecostal contributors to this volume. In fact, the back cover blurb stating that the intention “was to produce a set of papers that would serve as an effective introduction to the current state of research in to Pneumatology” has been largely fulfilled. Very briefly, the editors organized a symposium on pneumatology at Marquette University in April of 1998. They invited papers from theologians working in the area of what has come to be known during the last decade as the “pneumatological renaissance in theology.” The symposium papers along with the formal responses combined in this book present “cutting edge” research on the topic of pneumatology.

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Category: Spirit, Winter 2003

About the Author: Amos Yong is Professor of Theology & Mission and director of the Center for Missiological Research at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena. His graduate education includes degrees in theology, history, and religious studies from Western Evangelical Seminary and Portland State University, Portland, Oregon, and Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, and an undergraduate degree from Bethany University of the Assemblies of God. He is the author of numerous papers and over 30 books. fuller.edu/faculty/ayong/ amosyong@fuller.edu Facebook

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