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evangelical thought and life.5 In addition, Eastern Orthodoxy has provided a persistent focus on the Spirit for two millennia. While evangelicals in the West may not simply borrow Eastern terminology without its entire worldview, the Orthodox do have insight to offer our thinking on the Spirit.6 Finally, new voices call for a reshaping of the "center" and core identity of evangelicalism itself. These voices are pointing toward renewal of the theological task by the Spirit. Evangelicals are best served by a robust Trinitarian pneumatology that also contains a Christ-centered focus.

In this chapter we will examine specific loci communes related to the Spirit. One task will be to provide some expression of evangelical thought on these areas; another will be to engage the new voices mentioned above.

the spirit and the trinity

Evangelical thought on the Spirit traces its lineage back to early church discussions on the members of the Trinity. While the biblical discussion regarding the person of the Spirit is limited, there are hints of the divine nature of the Spirit. In a parallel reading of Acts 5:3-4, we discover that Peter describes "lying to the Holy Spirit'' and "lying to God'' as the same thing. The Trinitarian benediction in 2 Corinthians 13:14 bolsters understanding of the equality and divinity of Father, Son, and Spirit.7 Beyond this, evangelicals see a particular "logic" of thought in the New Testament regarding the divinity of the Spirit: divine names are given to the Spirit, divine perfections are ascribed to the Spirit, and divine works are performed by the Spirit.8

Aligning with Athanasius on the divinity of Christ, evangelicals also follow suit with Athanasius's understanding of the divinity of the Spirit -with some notable differences of emphasis on both. Instead of relying on a metaphysical rationale for Christ's divinity (which remains the focus of some evangelicals), Athanasius seems to argue on the basis of soteriology as found in Scripture.9 Some thirty years later, Athanasius responds to the attacks of the Pneumatomachians ("enemies of the Spirit'') by tracing the scriptural passages concerning the divinity of the Spirit. Athanasius notes that if the Son belongs to the Father, then the Spirit also belongs to the Father since whatever belongs to the Son in turn belongs to the Father.10 With the same logic, the Spirit cannot be a creature because the Son is not a creature. Since the Spirit is the "seal" of our redemption, the Spirit cannot be a creature. Creatures are "sealed," but something other than a creature is required to do the sealing or to be the seal.11 Hence, the Spirit is God or else our sanctification (theosis) is in peril.12

Through various means - but perhaps none as powerful as Augustine -the West adopted a strong focus on the second person of the Trinity (the Eternal Son) and weakened a potentially robust doctrine of the Spirit. With the addition of 'filioque'' (''and the Son'') in the Roman version of the creed, the Spirit is viewed by the West as proceeding from both the Father and the Son, whereas in the East this phrase is omitted.13 One result is that the Western church has viewed the Spirit as the reciprocal relation between the Father and Son, with the Spirit's identity being associated primarily with the other two members of the Trinity. The eternal generation of the Son helps to form the identity of the Father and the Son; thus, it is the ''primary movement in the eternal God,''14 while the '' secondary movement'' is the ''eternal spiration'' of the Spirit. As Augustine has said, the Spirit is the bond of love (vinculum amoris or communis caritas) between Father and Son.15

Such love language, however, adds weight to the charge that the Western doctrine of the Spirit tends toward the impersonal.16 Does this mean that the Spirit is not love? Perhaps instead it means that we need to exercise care in how we prescribe the relations of the Trinity. The concepts of circularity of love and perichoresis (mutual reciprocity) provide great assistance. Colin Gunton notes that it is the Spirit whose function is to make the love of God a love that is opened toward that which is not itself, to perfect it in otherness. Because God is not in himself a closed circle but is essentially the relatedness of community, there is within his eternal being that which freely and in love creates, reconciles and redeems that which is not himself.17

Gunton adds that this open circle is radically changed by the addition of an '' eschatological note'' to the Spirit's endeavor, thereby making the relationships of the inner Trinity part of a community of other-embracing love.18 What does all this have to do with evangelicals? One thing is clear: we humans are limited in our understanding of the mystery that is the Trinity. The caution of Sergius Bulgakov is merited:'' The human understanding is given the capacity to know these aspects of the being of the Spirit only discursively, by successively passing from one definition to another, for it knows love only as a state or attribute of a hypostasis, not as a hypostasis in itself.''19 We tend to stutter terribly when discussing the inner-Trinitarian relations. Yet, some insight from these relations will assist us in grasping how the Spirit relates to humans, thereby connecting who the Spirit is within the Trinity to what the Spirit does in the human sphere. As Millard Erickson accurately states, "The Holy Spirit is the point at which the Trinity becomes personal to the believer.''20

What might we learn from the Spirit's relation to the Father and Son? First, the Spirit is ''ecstatic,'' that is, "stands outside of oneself.''21 The Spirit spawns an overflow of God's own rich relationship toward the world. The doctrine of the Trinity is not a portrayal of three Gods, but suggests movement in God. God's being is not solitary, but communal with differentiation.22 In the persons we find a threefold repetition of God. God's being is a type of self-relatedness whose "being is in becoming.''23

The immanent relationship within the Trinity comes to fulfillment in its economic movement toward the world.24 Clark Pinnock describes this well: "God is the ever-expanding circle of loving, and the Spirit is the dynamic at the heart of the circle.''25 Creation and redemption are both the overflow of God's rich Trinitarian fellowship - they are both evidences of God's grace.26 The Spirit triggers this overflow of love, according to characteristics revealed in Scripture. The Spirit brings humans together in communion or fellowship (2 Cor. 13:14); the Spirit is the love that binds all things in harmony (Gal. 5:22; Col. 3:14); the Spirit works to bring people and things together in God's plan through love, fellowship, unity, and peace (1 Cor. 1:10; 3:3; Eph. 4:2); the Spirit brings humans into the fellowship between the Father and Son (1 John 1:3-4).27 God's love ''has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us'' (Rom. 5:5). The Spirit operates as the ''point person'' to open up the Trinity itself to the world.

Second, the Spirit choreographs and participates in the Trinitarian "dance" (perichoresis). An ancient notion that was used originally to guard against the division of the Trinity, perichoresis refers to the divine persons mutually inhering in one another or drawing ''life from one another.''28 While it referred to the inner-Trinitarian relations, it also was expanded to suggest that divinity itself could be communicated - it could ''move outside itself, even indwell that which is other and not be thereby diminished.''29 If the joyous dance of God is self-contained - unrelated to creation or humans - then as Catherine Mowry LaCugna intimates, the doctrine of the Trinity is defeated.30 It spins around itself with no impact on our history or lives. But the rich fellowship of the Trinity is more than a model for our lives. It is a real opportunity for finite humans to experience the transcendent God in ways that are almost palpable. Our mundane lives are for ever transformed (born again?) and being transformed in the life of God, where there is joy in the presence of God for evermore (Ps. 16:11).

Third, the Spirit opens up the ''dance of God'' for participation by humans and the created order. ''It is by the Spirit that we participate in the life of God and God participates in our life together.''31 In this way, the Spirit operates with a mission outward toward the created order. God is a "missionary God,'' searching the highways and byways to urge people to join God's party. As Daniel Migliore comments,

The triune God who lives eternally in mutual self-giving love wills to include creatures in that community of love. The welcoming of the other that marks the life of the Trinity in all eternity is extended outward to us. Through the divine missions of Word and Spirit, God welcomes creatures to share the triune life of love and community.32

The Spirit provides a bridge or nexus that ''relates all creation to the Trinitarian history without succumbing to pantheism or the hierarchical dualism that sharply separates the divine from the creaturely.''33

Hence, the life of the Trinity a se is closely related to the life that God shares with us ad extra. The Spirit is the connection between our finite lives and the infinite life of the Trinity. While it is through Christ that we are saved and can join this Trinitarian dance, it is through the Spirit that we are raised up from our deadness to walk in the newness of life - even to dance in the party that is God's life.

the spirit and christ

Evangelicals have inherited a tradition that reveres the divinity of Christ while in some cases limiting his humanity. In historical and theological terms, Logos Christology has subsumed Spirit Christology.34 Perhaps not all evangelicals have this problem, but it is one that seems prevalent. Recent theological scholarship has asked probing questions about the relation of the Spirit to the Christ. To be sure, the Spirit is ''there'' at Jesus' birth, overshadowing Mary in order to conceive Emmanuel (Luke 1:35); at the ''driving'' of Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted (Luke 4:1); at the launching of Jesus' official ministry in Nazareth - indeed, he chose a place in the scroll of Isaiah that reads, ''The Spirit of the Lord is on me'' (Luke 4:18); when Jesus casts out demons and the result is that the kingdom of God has come (Matt. 12:28; Luke 11:20); when Jesus dies as an atoning sacrifice on the cross and ''through the eternal Spirit offer[s] himself unblemished to God'' (Heb. 9:14; TNIV); and the Spirit is there when Jesus Christ is raised from the dead (Rom. 1:4; 8:11).

Jesus Christ's story has the consistent thread of the Spirit's presence. For evangelicals, this should have some import. For example, while it may be inaccurate to say that Jesus the Christ needed anyone to help him (at least when considering the "divine side'' of the God-Human), it does seem appropriate to say that he chose not to enter humanity, history, and ministry alone but with the continual presence of the Spirit (not to mention the Father). In other words, his entire life, death, and resurrection were Trinitarian acts, with the Holy Spirit as the "connector" between the divine and human.

Spirit Christology within an "orthodox'' Trinitarian perspective preserves a balance of Christ's divinity and humanity. As Ralph Del Colle suggests, "The primary issue is how to acknowledge the pneumatological dimension of Christology without utilizing it to displace logos-Christologies and their Trinitarian outcome. It is a question of complementarity and enrichment rather than wholesale reconstruction and revision of traditional Christology.''35 For evangelicals who naturally prize emphasis on Jesus Christ as the centerpiece of theology, this dimension of the Spirit's relation to Christ could have many positive repercussions.

For example, if the Spirit raised Jesus Christ from the dead, what does it mean to say that Jesus was delivered to death for our sins and was "raised to life for our justification'' (Rom. 4:25; TNIV)? In what way is the Spirit joining with Christ in our justification? Is there something of a participatory, subjective side to the classic objective and external understanding of justification?36

In 1 Timothy 3:16, a hymn about Christ is sung by the writer: ''He appeared in a body, was vindicated [justified] by the Spirit ...'' Because it seems odd to say that the Spirit "justified" Jesus, the translators smooth it out to "vindicated". Yet what if the Spirit who raises Christ from the dead has something to do with the justifying event?37 Viewing redemption ''from the perspective of resurrection in the Spirit,'' we could thereby see salvation in more holistic terms.38 Through the resurrection, Christ was justified by the Spirit and therefore believers can await the promised assurance of transformed existence. The same Spirit who raised Christ from the dead will raise our mortal bodies (Rom. 8:11). Dabney's comments here are powerful:

And in raising our mortal body, God will redeem not just that body, the locus of our existence, but the entirety of our embodied life: the whole of our relationships, our experiences and our encounters, all that makes up our identity. . . What would it mean to have all our broken relationships with God and world and our fellow human beings rectified and made whole?39

A final point of consideration relates to the subordinationist tendencies of evangelicals to place the Spirit ''under'' Christ. In many places, language of rank and hints toward subordination of function and essence abound. This is understandable - partly because of the Western propensity to subordinate the Spirit; partly because the cross, atonement, and conversion through Christ's work have been the focus of evangelical worship and theology. However, we do not know how to craft a doctrine of the Spirit that does justice to his behind-the-scenes role in Scripture yet honors him in a way that still allows for equal glory to shine on the Christ. A robust Trinitarian theology of the Spirit would begin to resolve these apparent conflicts. The Spirit points us to Christ, but the Spirit also lives with us, groaning with us to God the Father on our behalf. Why should we purposefully subordinate the Spirit when in fact the entire triune Godhead is at work in our redemption?

If there is hierarchy in God without equality in persons and essence, then there is much greater likelihood to be unhealthy hierarchy among believers. Suggesting that Spirit Christology should balance the polarity of Logos Christology, Donald Bloesch immediately adds: ''The challenge today seems to be to rediscover the complementarity of Logos and Spirit while still maintaining the subordination of Spirit to Logos (which is the biblical pattern).''40 First, we assume subordination of the Spirit is a biblical pattern, but have we examined this adequately? The cursory examination above provides enough evidence that the Spirit is not always behind-the-scenes; at the very least, subordination would not be a happy word choice for the Spirit's activity in the New Testament! Second, what does this do to the overall logic of the Trinity as revealed in the Scripture? Is Bloesch referring to subordination of function (as I presume)? Even here, however, such language smacks of subordination of essence. To be sure, the Spirit does not come to humans ''as a revelation of independent content, as a new instruction, illumination and stimulation of [humans] that goes beyond Christ, beyond the Word, but in every sense as the instruction, illumination and stimulation of [humans] through the Word and for the Word.''41 Thus, the Spirit is truly the Spirit of Christ.

However, I also wish to push further theological examination of the various functions of the Spirit as supported by Scripture and connected to Jesus the Christ. We can carefully do this without causing a rupture between Christ and the Spirit.42 For example, the Holy Spirit as the Counselor or Comforter is sent by the Father and the Son (John 14:26; 15:26). Jesus is sending ''another counselor'' (allon parakleton) - which may mean ''another who is similar in kind to me.''43 In other words, this is a replacement for Jesus' physical presence. Does this make the Spirit subordinate to the Son? I think not. Yet also the Spirit is not speaking of himself, but always pointing to Christ. Still, if the Spirit is in some way ''filling in'' for Christ until he returns, how can his role or position be subordinate? Moreover, there are dimensions of the Spirit's work that expand beyond Christ to the Trinity as a whole.44 Jurgen Moltmann reminds us that the trinitarian Persons do not merely exist and live in one another; they also bring one another mutually to manifestation in the divine glory.''45 God the Father is the '' Father of glory'' (Eph. 1:17); God the Son is the ''reflection of glory'' (Heb. 1:3); and God the Spirit is the ''Spirit of glory'' (1 Pet. 4:14).

the spirit and life

In this final section we shall briefly consider a few ways that we experience the Spirit in this life, with a hopeful expectation of the life to come. First we should state that while the Spirit is one bridge of connection between the divine and human lives, the Holy Spirit is not our experience. The Holy Spirit is God.''46 Evangelicals cannot afford to mistake their experiences and their spirituality for the Holy Spirit. However, that being said, evangelicals must also not squelch the Spirit's activity - as if the Spirit only behaves in a way that is tame and bourgeois. As humans who are asked to dedicate their entire lives to God, believers have a capacity not just for intellectual understanding but also for emotional, spiritual, and sensory understanding.'' We are whole persons, fragmented by sin and being pieced back together by God's Spirit through regeneration and sanctification. Surely we cannot assume that God's Spirit would leave us just as broken and internally scattered as when he found us!

Understanding the total demand of the Good News requires evangelicals to reconsider their pietistic backgrounds, where the soul is nurtured and the emotions are free to express love for God and others in a variety of ways. However, understanding this more holistic dimension of humanity may also require some deepening of theological talk about sin - about what splinters our selves. In this regard, some liberation theologies and feminist theologies provide excellent contextual conversation partners for evangelical theology, opening the windows of our stuffy rooms to allow fresh air into the discussion. For example, Serene Jones has provided a reconsideration of sin that attempts to remain consistent with her tradition (Calvin) while at the same time responsive to the current concerns of feminist thought. In one place, Jones connects Calvin's view that sin is unfaithfulness with current conceptual imagery of mistreatment of women. A person in a state of unfaithfulness experiences radical loss, ''without both the sanctifying structure of God's love and the ever renewing forgiveness of justification.''47 Hence, humanity produces many different fruits of sin. One of these Calvin describes as ''despoilment'' - a loss of one's original integrity whereby the ''self deteriorates in the absence of its constitutive boundaries, and society is plundered of the justice that gives it integrity.''48 These descriptions provide her with useful ways to reconsider feminist concerns regarding oppression and violence. They also provide evangelicals with a framework to consider re-mapping sin in its many horrid dimensions (especially those we cannot even recognize in ourselves).

Why should evangelicals work at re-mapping sin in today's world? The answer is quite straightforward: how can we speak the Good News to the world without understanding some of sin's permutations in our various contexts?

In addition to experiencing God and our sin in wholeness, evangelicals need to recapture the relational dimension of God's being. As we noted regarding the Spirit and Trinity, God dwells in community - Father, Son, and Spirit. While humans cannot fully recreate that fellowship on earth, there is a sense in which we are taken up into that community by the Spirit. Evangelicals have been wont to announce the Good News with a healthy dose of the bad news. Sin is usually preached about in ways that circulate around behaviors we find abhorrent. We assume that we preach people into conviction, neglecting this fundamental role of the Spirit to ''convict'' or ''convince'' of sin. The idea of guilt within our evangelical congregations seems much more prevalent than grace. Therefore, the above section on reconsidering sin was not meant as new ammunition for the old battery of evangelical guns against sinners. Instead, what if our focus were to switch to the story of God (the Good News!) as one of a lover who has gone searching for his beloved; as one of a woman frantically searching for a choice lost coin; as one of a father who daily stands at the gate, straining to see a wandering son's silhouette in the horizon (Luke 15)? What if union with God were the goal and conversion meant an ''awakening to love''?49 What if the Spirit wants to woo us into God's transforming life? What if the Spirit desires to bring us into intimacy with God and other humans? How would the Good News sound in this language and accent?

Having experienced God's grace through the work of Christ and by the power of the Spirit, believers are established then to share the love of God with fellow human beings. It is the Spirit who stirs in us a responsive love to God and a concomitant love for neighbor (Matt. 22:37-39; Rom. 5:5). The fruit of the Spirit, which resonates almost perfectly with the character of Christ, grows in us by the planting, watering, and sunshine of the Spirit so that we may grow up in all things to be like Christ (Gal. 5:22; Eph. 4:14-16). The fundamental fruit of the Spirit by which we live, by which the Spirit fosters relationality in the Godhead and among humans, is love. As God the Spirit raises us to participation in the very life and fellowship of the triune God, we are transformed from glory to glory so that we may walk in newness of life. It is the Spirit who connects us to the presence of the Infinite God, though we are finite. It is the Spirit who transforms us from death to life. It is the Spirit who propels us to love those who seem unlovable - radically other. This is what it means to be truly evangelical.

Finally, any evangelical talk of the Spirit in a believer's life needs to consider the specter of individualism (especially in the West). God is relational, reaching out to humanity and the created order through the Spirit, so that in some sense we may join in the life of God. However, much evangelical preaching remains focused on the individual - especially, the individual's choice for or against God. This is surely one reason why we may be uncomfortable with talk of a social Trinity and a relational God; it is also certainly the reason why evangelicals have not written much about ecclesiology.50

While God is clearly concerned for individuals, God's Spirit does not unite us to God for the sake of leaving us alone with our solitary, inner selves. God lifts us into the life of God so that we - transformed and renewed by the Spirit - might enter into the lives of others. This is not just to perform some random acts of kindness, but to assist others in seeing the reality that is God through our lives.

We live in this world as people who are already experiencing new life in Christ through the Spirit but are not yet in the life of the age to come. This tension of ''already/not yet'' is a well-documented principle in Paul's writings.51 A fundamental aspect of this tension is the Spirit's role in bringing the new life of the new era into our earthly lives here and now. The Spirit is the seal who marks us in Christ, ''a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession - to the praise of his glory'' (Eph. 1:14; TNIV). The Spirit allows us to ''taste of the powers of the coming age'' (Heb. 6:5; TNIV) without transporting us there in toto. This ''taste of the heavenly gift'' (Heb. 6:4; TNIV) is not merely for gloating with the insight of the world to come or circulating around some super-spiritual realm. It is offered so that we might experience in this world what a full life in union with God will be like one day - in unceasing glory; from this realization, we recognize what a perfect life here on earth would look like and how woefully inadequate our structures, institutions, and lives are by comparison. This vision of God's perfection should propel us into the physical and natural spheres so that we will strive to make all life in this world a better reflection of the life to come.

The perfection of God in the age to come can be described well with the Hebraic concept of shalom. Shalom is ''peace'' or ''well being.'' While it is "intertwined with justice,'' says Nicholas Wolterstorff, it is more than justice.52 Cornelius Plantinga suggests further that shalom is a ''universal flourishing, wholeness, and delight - a rich state of affairs in which natural needs are satisfied and natural gifts fruitfully employed, all under the arch of God's love. Shalom, in other words, is the way things are supposed to be.''53 While I am not necessarily advocating that we usher in God's reign of the future in the here and now, at the very least we should reflect the life of that reign in our sinful, broken, and damaged world. It is logically impossible for the love of God poured out in our lives by the Spirit to indwell us as believers and not work for justice and peace in the world. If we have been transformed by participating in the very life of God, then to the best of our human, earthly abilities and with the power of the Spirit, we will love our neighbors by transforming the structures that oppress their very humanity as well as treating them as we would treat ourselves.54

It is here that the Spirit works like a buoying force within us. Sin in its various structural and personal forms is ever before us - some days more rampant and sinister than others. How can we strike against something so powerful and inevitable? The Spirit of God brings power and hope in the midst of despair and weakness. The Spirit encourages and stimulates us to resolve conflicts and tear down strongholds of the enemy. The Spirit urges us to work for justice and righteousness here and now as an acknowledgment that things are not supposed to be this way. Therefore, we are pilgrims here, citizens of another home. In the midst of this home, however, the Spirit works for justice. Michael Welker uses a wonderful image to characterize this: ''The Spirit of God thus generates a force field of love in which people strive so that all things might 'work for good' for their 'neighbors.' ''55 Hence the Spirit generates genuine hope for the future by engaging God's people to work for righteousness in the present.

In this context we see the Spirit's role in the church. The mission of the church is quite simply the mission of God - to reach out in love as did Christ and invite humanity to join the divinely choreographed dance of the Spirit to the glory of God the Father. Obviously, this dance engages the whole person and indeed the whole of our communal lives on earth. No area of life is untouched by this song and dance because all things are being brought under subjection to Christ. It is the Spirit of God who assists us in completing the purpose for which we have been '' apprehended by God'' in the first place (Phil. 3:12). The Spirit is heading all things to their intended conclusion in God. The Spirit works in the church to build up a community that reflects the triune life of God as best it can in a sinful world. For evangelicals, then, the Good News is not just preached, but lived in the power of the Spirit. The gifts of the Spirit operate within the community of faith to encourage and strengthen the body of Christ for the fulfillment of its purpose.56 Therefore, these gifts are signs of hope - signs of the age to come when the Father will place all things under Christ's rule of shalom and the reign of God will continue for ever with ''justice, joy and peace in the Holy Spirit'' (Rom. 14:17).57 Come, Holy Spirit!

Further reading

Badcock, Gary D. Light of Truth and Fire of Love: A Theology of the Holy Spirit.

Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1997. Bloesch, Donald G. The Holy Spirit: Works and Gifts. Christian Foundations.

Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2000. Bruner, Frederick Dale. A Theology of the Holy Spirit: The Pentecostal Experience and the New Testament Witness. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1970. Burgess, Stanley M. The Spirit and the Church: Medieval Roman Catholic and Reformation Traditions (Sixth-Sixteenth Centuries). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson,

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