Open to the Spirit by Scot McKnight chronicles his journey from the anti-charismatic movement to the importance of the Holy Spirit in living the Christian life. He presents the theological and personal struggles he encountered as he became open to the work of the Holy Spirit.
He blends stories and Biblical passages to encourage us to be open to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. I welcome his emphasis on the power and work of the Holy Spirit; however, I would have preferred greater theological precision in some of his arguments.
At times, it seemed he emphasized the subjective at the expense of objective truth. For example, he quotes the well known hymn, I serve a risen Savior, “You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart.” He then writes, “That kind of internal witness corresponds to the assuring witness of the Spirit in us” (p. 139). The assurance of the indwelling Spirit is based not primarily on our internal witness, but rather what the Bible teaches concerning the Holy Spirit. One may have a corroborating peace, but the foundation of our truth comes from God’s word. One religious group writes, “And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.” The validity of our belief, however is not based on the sincerity of our feelings, but rather the truth of the Bible.
This book is a helpful introduction for those wanting to learn more about the Holy Spirit. (I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review).
Associate Pastor – Discipleship. The Church at LifePark
Professor of Discipleship, Columbia International University
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