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Amos Yong: Spirit of Love

Amos Yong, Spirit of Love: A Trinitarian Theology of Grace (Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2012), vii-xv + 246 pages.

Amos Yong (Ph.D. Boston University) is Professor of Theology and Mission and director of the Center for Missiological Research at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. Whereas in the past, we have seen Yong cover the Spirit in relation to hermeneutics, the Spirit in relation to ecumenism, and the Spirit in relation to science, among other things, in this title, Yong expresses his full Pentecostal flare. Indeed, as in no other title to date, Yong lets his readers know that he is a Pentecostal in heart, mind, and spirit. This title grew out of a 3 year John Templeton funded study group, started in 2007, with the name of “The Flame of Love: Scientific Research on the Experience and Expression of Godly Love in the Pentecostal Tradition.” This study group in part focused on an extended consideration of the notion of Godly love, why the Pentecostal tradition did not seemingly focus on God’s love, and what that might mean for this research endeavor.

In going through the research for the study group, Yong found out at least two things that work toward the thesis of this book: 1) while references to Godly love are not as pronounced in the Pentecostal tradition as are references to Godly power, they are there, both in the contemporary landscape and at earlier junctures. And 2) there are untapped resources within Pentecostal theology and spirituality for a theology of love that can contribute to the wider discussion about Godly love. In short, Yong’s thesis is that there is a link between divine power and Godly love in and through the person and work of the Spirit, and that Pentecostal understandings of the Spirit can shed new light on what means to depict God as love and God as loving (x).

This book is not an attempt to generate an exhaustive theology of love. Rather, each example selected and enumerated upon was selected in order to expound upon a Pneumatological theology of love.

This is vintage Amos Yong, erudite scholarship, tight reasoning, and persuasive argumentation. For these reasons, and many more, this title should be on the shelves of all Pentecostals and ecumenists.

Reviewed by Bradford McCall


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Category: Fall 2014, In Depth

About the Author: Bradford L. McCall, B.S. in Biology (Georgia Southwestern St. University, 2000), M.Div. (Asbury Theological Seminary, 2005), grew up on a cotton farm in south Georgia. A graduate student at Holy Apostles College and Seminary, Bradford has particular interest in teleology, causation and early modern philosophy.

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