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George M. Flattery, A Biblical Theology of the Holy Spirit, reviewed by Amos Yong

The fourth volume is slightly different in that it comprises fourteen chapters written by scholars in honor of Flattery’s achievements. The various essays in this festschrift are of mixed quality, although well-read pastors and certainly scholars in the field will recognize, appreciate, and be stimulated intellectually and even spiritually by the contributions of French Arrington, Craig Keener, Roger Stronstad, among a number of well-known pentecostal scholars. Themes in this volume that will prove to be of interest to and perhaps even challenge readers of The Pneuma Review include evidential tongues, spiritual gifts, the anointing, pentecostal education, theology of mission or missiology, church growth, and other pastorally-relevant topics. Careful readers of the four-volumes will observe how the material here enrich, in a few instances contest, but mostly complement and extend what is found in Flattery’s more basic portrait of biblical pneumatology. It is assumed that its contents are reserved for upper division courses in the GU curriculum, and thus pastors looking to teach on the Holy Spirit to their congregations can utilize this honorary volume in a similar manner.

The person and work of the Holy Spirit remains an enigma in many circles, even pentecostal ones! This four-volume work provides an important if basic initiation into the topic. While scholarship on the Spirit, including that informed by pentecostal instincts and sensibilities, has accelerated in the last generation, those who need a refresher course on the fundamental insights that have enabled Pentecostalism to gain acceptance within the wider North American evangelical mainstream will be well served by consulting this compendium that is Flattery’s legacy. May the next generation of GU students and other like-minded Christians both within and outside of the pentecostal movement learn from, build on, and be led by the Spirit who Flattery seeks to follow toward ever deeper insights and understandings of the one whose comings and goings remain difficult to trace.

Reviewed by Amos Yong

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Category: Biblical Studies, Pneuma Review, Winter 2012

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. Facebook

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