An appreciation for differing views of time within Scripture can clarify the controversy over human free will versus divine predestination.
How is it that in modern religious communities, appeals to the Holy Spirit for religious authority are more likely to start arguments than to settle them, more likely to separate believers than unite them, and more likely to confuse the issues at hand than clarify them?
In evangelical circles, talk of “personal growth” is eclipsing the traditional concept of sanctification in a turn toward “self realization” that reflects a culturally conditioned shift in the reference point for Christian growth toward the individual and away from God and away from His community. Is the dove landing or flying away? Does it make [...]
The modern-day fragmentation of Christianity is stark against the Christian unity portrayed in the Book of Acts. Borrowing an image from politics, the ancient church was a “big tent.”
“Nicodemus came to Jesus by night…” by G. Eric and Edith Matson Photograph Collection,Library of Congress
The continuing presence of the Holy Spirit is not a controversial issue for most Christians. The implication of the Spirit’s presence IS.
The final image for understanding the Holy Spirit is that of “Prophetic Fulfillment.”
A seventh image for understanding the Holy Spirit is that of “Incorporation.”
A sixth image for understanding the Holy Spirit is that of “Teacher’s Example.”
A fifth image for understanding the Holy Spirit is “Creation.” Detail from the “Creation of Man” by Michelangelo
A fourth image for understanding the Holy Spirit is “Triumphal Entry.” Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalemfrom Our Day in the Light of Prophecy by W.A. SPICER
The image of “preparing the way” provides another useful illustration of the Holy Spirit. Roads were rough and dangerous in ancient times, so forerunners went ahead of kings and princes to smooth their way. Old road in need of repair– photo from morgueFile
More confusion and controversy probably exist over the subject of the Holy Spirit than any other religious topic. Sorting out the conflicting claims and ideas is daunting. “The Vision of Dry Bones” by Gustave Dore (public domain) Images are helpful.
Conversations on the Holy Spirit are often confusing and contentious. Images are helpful. One that’s especially useful comes from the construction industry– the image of a construction crane that becomes part of the building it’s used to build.