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Frank Macchia: Jesus the Spirit Baptizer

… the Christ of the full gospel at Pentecost and beyond is also the one who saves, sanctifies, baptizes, heals, and commissions for his kingdom.

Yet, Macchia does not raise these concerns in his book. Instead, I wonder if the absence of Pentecostal literature is the consequence of the theme itself: Jesus the Spirit baptizer is central to the full gospel, yet it is only one of its themes deeply integrated with the others. Where the final chapter speaks of Christ as Lord, prophet, high priest, the one who sends, and the one who is to come, the Christ of the full gospel at Pentecost and beyond is also the one who saves, sanctifies, baptizes, heals, and commissions for his kingdom. These Pentecostal themes do more than reflect traditional Christology, they also challenge and revise its focus. The direction of this focus both leads toward Spirit baptism and flows from it. This dual direction of Spirit baptism poses new questions on how Jesus the Spirit baptizer also manifest the savior (in a new way through the Spirit), how sanctification as integral to the life of Christ is reflected in the Spirit baptism of the church (as the body of Christ), how Christ the healer continues to heal beyond Pentecost (as the gift of the Spirit), and, above all, how the coming king continues to baptize with the Spirit (as the foretaste of the kingdom).

Reviewed by Wolfgang Vondey


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Category: Spirit, Summer 2020

About the Author: Wolfgang Vondey, Ph.D. (Marquette University) and M.Div. (Church of God Theological Seminary), is Professor of Christian Theology and Pentecostal Studies at the University of Birmingham, UK. He is an ordained minister with the Church of God (Cleveland, TN). His research focuses on ecclesiology, pneumatology, theological method, and the intersection of theology and science.

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