Monday, October 27, 2014

Holy Spirit Expectations

What to Expect From the Holy Spirit
Dr. Earl Radmacher

The church is famous for shifting emphases, and most often as a reaction against some social trend.  Not too long ago, Francis Chan published his book, The Forgotten God, which emphasizes the role of the Holy Spirit.  Various groups such as many charismatics had an almost exclusive mindset of the Holy Spirit as a primary or dominant role in salvation.

Even though this book was originally written in 1983, the scriptures that are given as support for the various offices of the Holy Spirit are timeless.  Jeremy Myers’ reintroduction of this book is timely.  The book is not written as systematic theology for the classroom, but was a transcription of various messages that Dr. Radmacher preached.  That gives it a more relevant presentation to the men and women in the pew. 

The various points serve as a summary of the various ministries of the Holy Spirit in the life of the church.  His explanation of the spiritual gifts is excellent.  His defense of ecclesiology is apropos for our current generation.  Research such as from Barna highlights the 30 million plus who identify themselves as “born again” but who have left the established churches. 

Jeremy’s conclusion as well as the appendix article by Dr Steven Lewis correctly place the emphasis on the Holy Spirit lifts up the name and person of Jesus Christ.  Jesus remains the groom, and the work of the Holy Spirit never detracts from that centrality.  The book should bring some freshness to our understanding of the Holy Spirit and His work in the lives of Christians and Christ’s church.

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Unforgiveable Sin

Why You Have Not Committed
The Unforgivable Sin
--Jeremy Myers

I remember several preachers mentioning “the unforgivable sin” during the revivals I attended as a boy.  But in the 50 plus years that I have been in ministry, I do not recall anyone ever raising the issue to me.  Obviously, the scriptures that Jeremy cites from the words of Jesus are the spoken truth.

It seems clear that Jeremy is writing to give hope to those who might be struggling with the issue.  He points to the magnitude of Christ’s ability and desire to forgive, while systematically dispelling the various theories that have been offered through the years to explain the “unforgivable sin.”

While there are those who might need assurance that the Holy Spirit is still dealing with people, our primary cultural weakness in America are those who either ignore God, or protest righteousness by their attitudes and actions.  They need to know that God will be in the role of unmerciful judge at the end.  Theologically, Jeremy leaves no room to deal with those the scriptures call “apostate.” 

In the venue of Jeremy’s ministry in the prisons, his book will be very helpful in addressing those who might consider themselves beyond redemption.  And for that I applaud his work.