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Rodman Williams: The Gift of the Holy Spirit Today: Response

31. Tongues are described as “a special language of jubilation” by Gerhard Delling in his book, Worship in the New Testament (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1962). “The working of the Spirit brings about … an enthusiasm which expresses itself in a special language of jubilation, in a praising of God which rises above the normal manner of speaking” (italics: Delling), p. 38. Incidentally, Delling’s evaluation of glossolalia is also worth quoting: “It is an intimation (certainly an imperfect and, in Paul’s opinion at least, an inadequate one) of the praise and worship of God in the heavenly service; and thus at the same time an anticipation of the future glory. Men knew that they stood in the midst of the irruption of the coming age; they knew that in the gift of the Spirit they had received an earnest [αρραβων] of the consummation; furthermore the Spirit when bestowed did not remain simply a gift in the hidden chambers of the heart; it pressed for expression in special intimations in Worship” (p. 35).

Unless otherwise indicated, all scriptural quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible.

The Gift of the Holy Spirit Today: Purpose (Chapter 4, Part 1)


The Gift of the Holy Spirit Today by J. Rodman Williams, was published in 1980 by Logos International. Used by permission of the author. Reprinted in Pneuma Review with minor updates from the author.

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Category: Fall 2002, Spirit

About the Author: J. Rodman Williams (1918-2008), Ph.D., is considered to be the father of renewal theology. He served as a chaplain in the Second World War, he was a church pastor, college professor, and key figure in the charismatic movement of the 1960s. Beginning in 1982, he taught theology at Regent University School of Divinity in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and became Professor of Renewal Theology Emeritus there in 2002. Author of numerous books, he is perhaps best known for his three volume Renewal Theology (Zondervan, 1996).

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