I've just come back from almost a week down in Cornwall visiting Myriddin - a dear friend of mine that I haven't seen for a while. We had an incredible time chatting about all sorts of things mainly about knowing God. I haven't seen him since I came into contact with Rob Rufus and his ministry from Hong Kong. I took him on the internet and showed him all sorts of quotes and also Rob's prophetic song that he brought during the "Miracle Healing Weekend". Myth was really impacted with what he heard and hopefully will be able to come with us to "Grace and Glory Conference" in Hong Kong next year!
Facing 4 or 5 hours on the train was made slightly less hideous by taking two new books again mainly centred around knowing God. They were from different theological positions but I found myself hugely encouraged along the same path after reading them both. The first was a large hardback book called; "New Testament Theology - Magnifying God in Christ" by Thomas R Schreiner. There is an amazing section on the "Holy Spirit" which is almost equal to Gordon Fee's outstanding; "God's Empowering Presence". I will be posting quotes here throughout this evening.
The second book was called "The Seer - The Prophetic Power of Visions, Dreams and Open Heavens" by Jim W Goll. It was particularly looking at ways of experiencing God personally and corporately and very similar to Todd Bentley's book; "The Reality of the Supernatural World: Exploring Heavenly Realms and Prophetic Experiences". Again there were some quotes most worthy of remembering. But what impressed me the most was that the foreword to Jim Goll's book said this;
"We live in a day when all too many "scholars" and even believers have reduced the Word of God to a purely rational and logical explanation. Granted the Word of God appears as reasonable and logical in it's unfolding to the human mind; provided that the mind is surrendered, yielded and in the process of being transformed by the Spirit!".
That I think is a fair enough comment that few would have a problem with. I approached Schreiner's book with a degree of suspicion that this would be a more objective approach to knowing God as written by the said scholar - rational and logical. However I was thrilled to read that on the one hand Schreiner rightly states;
"The Holy Spirit's role in the writing of Scripture is one example of the alliance between the Spirit and the Word. The Spirit speaks through the written word of Scripture and the human authors of Scripture spoke their words under the aegis of the Holy Spirit".
A typical reformed statement some might say. However he also goes on to speak about;
"We should also observe that Jesus described the whole of His ministry here, so that every dimension of His work depended on the anointing power of the Spirit. Every good work detailed in Luke stems from the Spirit Himself. Jesus truly was the bearer of the Spirit, the Man marked out by the Spirit, the man uniquely strengthened by the Spirit".
Theology does not have to be guilty of "dry and dead orthodoxy"! Oh for more scholars that are not afraid or intimidated to recognise that the Holy Spirit is a Person and is more than free to act as He will and when He will and how He will! Perhaps if we could see more of this mind-set grafted into the evangelical church then our mission would advance more rapidly walking not in word only but in power and in signs and wonders!