The Holy Spirit

Vol. 5.3 | Autumn 2019

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

Genesis 1:1-2

Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Psalm 51:10-12

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Acts 2:1-4

The importance of a renewed reflection on pneumatology is not restricted to only one field or locus of theology but has wider significance. It affects the way of doing theology as such, and it clarifies or specifies the functions of dogmatic theology.

Cornelis van der Kooi, This Incredibly Benevolent Force: The Holy Spirit in Reformed Theology and Spirituality, p. 19

In Greek and Syriac texts of earlier centuries of the Christian era I noticed that – unlike in the twentieth century – talk of the Holy Spirit seemed almost always strictly tied to talk of holy places, holy people, and holy things. It did not float free of bodily existence as it does in North Atlantic Christian discourse and worship. Indeed, it was embodied.

Eugen F. Rogers, Jr., After the Spirit: A Constructive Pneumatology from Resources outside the Modern West, p. 1

Most powerful Holy Spirit, come down upon us and subdue us. From heaven, where the ordinary is made glorious, and glory seems but ordinary, bathe us with the brilliance of your light like dew.

An Invocation of the Holy Spirit, Celtic Daily Prayer: Prayers and Readings from the Northumbria Community, p. 284

In this volume of Resonance we turn our attention to the third member of the Trinity: the Holy Spirit. In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in the Holy Spirit as “this incredibly benevolent force” that works in and through all aspects of God’s nature and animates God’s work in the world. The Holy Spirit has been understood and experienced in very diverse ways throughout the centuries, often taking very different forms based on unique contexts of time and place. In our own day, different traditions and denominations of the church emphasize different aspects of the Spirit – from charismatic experiences, to the nature of the Lord’s Supper, to worship practices and liturgy. What can we learn from these diverse manifestations of God’s Spirit? How does a sound theology of the Holy Spirit impact our understanding and experience of the Father and the Son? Why do people experience the work of the Holy Spirit differently? How are we to understand the work and calling of the Spirit in our own lives and ministries? How do the Old and New Testaments portray the Holy Spirit, and what can we learn from this?  We invite you to explore these questions and more in this upcoming volume of Resonance.

A Few Examples of Potential Lines of Inquiry (Arranged within the chiastic pattern of the issue)

This is not a restrictive list. It is simply a way to spark your thoughts.

Liturgy (exploring the theme in practices of Christian worship)

  • How do we worship the Holy Spirit in our services?
  • How has the church historically understood the nature of the Holy Spirit in its liturgy?
  • What is the significance of “invocation” and “benediction” in our understanding of the Holy Spirit in our liturgical practices?

Scripture (exploring the theme through scriptural exegesis)

  • Explore key passages of the Holy Spirit throughout the Bible
  • Exegete key episodes of the Holy Spirit in the OT and/or NT

Witness (exploring the theme through the experience of Christian discipleship)

  • Describe a memorable encounter you have had with the Holy Spirit. What did you learn? How did you grow? What challenged you? What was comforting? Disconcerting?
  • Recount how the Holy Spirit has transformed a church or community

Tradition (exploring the theme through historic and/or systematic theology)

  • Describe key elements of a particular theologian’s pneumatology
  • How has the theological study of the Holy Spirit changed in recent years? What are new avenues for exploration and application?
  • What was the significance of the Holy Spirit in the early church (or in other historical eras, such as the Reformation) for the development of Christian faith and theology?

 Crux (central article by a special guest)

  • By invitation only.

Proposal Deadline: May 1, 2019
Article Submission Deadline: July 1, 2019

Would You Like to Participate in this Volume?