The Work of the Spirit: Pneumatology and Pentecostalism: Pneumatology and Pentacostalism

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Peacocke, eds. Stoeger, and Francisco J. Ayala, eds. Meyering, and Michael A.

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Arbib, eds. I will cite papers from these volumes by author, title, volume number, and page number s. Green and Stuart L. Palmer, eds. I am grateful to Russell for allowing me access to this manuscript before publication. Lewis L. Wilkins and Duane A.

Priebe Philadelphia: Westminster, Minneapolis: Fortress, , xi. Ellis, ed. So I am not denying that charismatic experiences of the Spirit are to be found only in PC Christianity; rather, I am making my argument from out of the PC movement because that is the Christian tradition I am most familiar with. The baptism of the Holy Spirit furnishes us with the most concrete and actual knowledge of the trinitarian being and action of God. Their theological creativeness can be recognized in applying the theological implication of the baptism of the Holy Spirit to the formation of trinitarian theology.

The false concept of baptism and God in the oneness Pentecostalism entails its false interpretation of the Scripture. This is a fundamentalist interpretation that determines the being of the triune God in baptism on the basis of external evidences of the biblical language. There is a serious fault in this.

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It fails to differentiate language from being in the sense that it determines the being of God directly from the human language of the Bible. The latter form that attributes glory only to God the Father is only biblical and legitimate, while the former that ascribes glory also to the Son and the Holy Spirit with God the Father is innovative and thus unbiblical and illegitimate. The scriptural use of various prepositions and syllables for God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, as they suggest, is the conclusive evidence for the variation of their nature.

Thereby they declare that God the Father alone is truly divine, and he is only worthy to be glorified. Basil strongly opposes their view, for it is wrong and heretic to explain the triune nature of God through a systematic investigation of various linguistic prepositions and syllables of the Bible. Basil teaches us to formulate our pneumatology on the basis of our actual and living experience of the Holy Spirit in faith. This is not naturally meant to encourage us to dismay the importance of the Scripture for our theology. He seriously considers scriptural references about the Holy Spirit for his pneumatology.

His pneumatology is the hermeneutical outcome of these references in the light of the living experience of the Holy Spirit in faith. It attempts to harmonize the living experience of the trinitarian unity of the Spirit in faith with its scriptural witness in the baptismal formula.

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Its conceptual basis in faith seems to be the very reason for him also to take the unwritten tradition of trinitarian doxology in the church rite e. We have deemed ourselves under a necessary obligation to combine in our confession of the faith Him who is numbered with them at Baptism, and we have treated the confession of faith as the origin and parent of the doxology.

The significance of its conceptual basis in faith is remarkable. It not only prevents us from falling into scriptural formalism, but it also enables us to presuppose theological dynamism and actualism and objectivism. The objective ontology of the Spirit determines our epistemology, knowledge and conceptualization of Him in faith which the Bible testifies.

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For Basil, the main purpose of the Bible is to refer their ultimate truth beyond their language to the objective reality of the triune God. There is no an autonomous power to witness His objective reality in the Bible itself, as fundamentalists imply. It belongs to the internal witness of God the Holy Spirit, as the Reformed theologians e. Here he firmly states that he allows his exposition of the pneumatological subject to be guided by the objective reality of the Holy Spirit Himself. It decisively forbids his pneumatology falling into mere rational and speculative intellectualism.

There is also the dogmatic freedom, autonomy and positivity in the conceptual basis in faith. Basil apparently admits that his fidelity to the guidance of the Holy Spirit in freedom is the decisive fact that makes him free from bondage to the mere scriptural words for his pneumatology. Theology is the product and service of the church in faith. It must be referred to the Scripture, which is the canon of the church. The importance of our dependency on the sovereign freedom of God the Holy Spirit in our theological formulation is this.

It enables us to maintain the objective reality of God in the subjectivity of our faith. This maintenance, claims D. Hardy and D. The maintenance of the objective reality of God in the subjectivity of our faith is a scientific method of theology. The scientific method would not allow us to associate with any kind of speculative pneumatology that imposes any a priori philosophical and theological presupposition for knowledge of the true being and action of the Holy Spirit. It is a time for Pentecostals to formulate their theology in a scientific method. They need to demonstrate the scientific nature of their theology in a intelligent, cogent and systematic way, so that their Pentecostal theology would be no longer regarded as unsystematic, unconvincing, unscientific and unintelligent.

Pentecostals could have the most promising ground for a scientific pneumatology, for they could claim the most concrete knowledge of the objective reality of the Holy Spirit in baptism as the starting point of their pneumatology. The dynamic objectivity of the Spirit in their subjectivity of faith allows them to declare genuine dynamism and objectivism of their pneumatology. Its objectivism is crucial for the evidence of its creditability.

Their theological objectivism gives rise to their theological actualism, preventing them from falling into a speculative theology that discusses the being and action of the Spirit without actual experience of them. Basil asserts that diverse prepositions and phrases for the expression of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in Scripture illustrate their distinctive hypostases. The ousia of God the Father is the origin or source of the three hypostases of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

The significance of this distinction is that it offers a doctrinal possibility of the distinctiveness of each member of the Trinity. Their threefold distinctiveness is not possible without acknowledging the qualitative distinction between the hypostasis and the nature or essence of God. His Origenistic [71] assertion of the three hypostases of the Trinity would not be acceptable to those e. There is, however, no explanation of the nature of the ousia.

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This is the inner reality of God that transcends our cognition. It is known only to God himself, remaining as mysterious to us. Basil warns us not to treat the ousia as a separable reality from the Trinity, for the ousia is the essence of God the Father. Their inseparability decisively eliminates any suggestion of a fourth reality of God apart from the Trinity. This suggests a division between the oneness and the threeness of God that implies a fourth reality of God.

The implication of the designation of the Father as the only cause of the Godhead is highly remarkable. As John D. The three hypostases of the Trinity are no longer seen as the ontological necessity of the one divine substance. Moreover, the designation of God the Father as the source of the Godhead inspires us to interpret the oneness of God in terms of the one personal God the Father, although Basil himself does not do so. His recognition of the conscious individuality of God the Father in His will certainly encourages us to think of Him as a conscious personal being and subject.

The knowledge of the three hypostases of the Trinity is not mysterious and abstract for Basil.

We can encounter and perceive their distinctiveness, as they reveal themselves in the subjectivity of our faith through their distinctive works. It is to stress the actual existence of the distinctive individual [80] beings of the Trinity. There is a specific goal in this. This is to evade Sebellian modalism that denies the substantial beings of the Trinity by interpreting them as three different modes and roles of the one God. It is loaded with connotation of the masked person on the theatrical stage, acting someone else.

It consequently dismays the actual and distinctive substance and being of the acted person. Each hypostasis of the Trinity has its self-will for Basil. The existence of their self-will would not be possible without the existence of their conscious personhood and subjectivity. Basil does not realize the important reason for this understanding. It is, however, vital for us, for we can not acknowledge the distinctive beings of the Trinity and their genuine involvement in their distinctive actions without presupposing their distinctive conscious personhood and subjectivity.

It does not seem to be very difficult for Pentecostals to acknowledge the distinctive personal being and subject of each member of the Trinity. They could encounter the distinctive personal being and subject of the Holy Spirit through their conversation with Him, as they experience the gifts of the Spirit e.

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These gifts of the Spirit require a certain kind of intelligent communication between ourselves and Him. Pentecostals could present the distinctive personal being and subject of the Holy Spirit as the conceptual basis of that of the Son and the Father. This could be seen as their theological creativeness and contribution to the whole church. The distinctive character of the Holy Spirit can be defined in two ways. One is to do this in the light of the trinitarian relationship of the Spirit.

The other is to treat the distinctiveness of the Spirit in terms of His own distinctive action. It conveys the connotation of an acting power or instrument of God. He wants us to consider the Holy Spirit as His proper and particular title. The nature of the Holy Spirit is distinctively spiritual and appropriate to everything that is incorporeal, purely immaterial, and indivisible.