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Review – Engaging with the Holy Spirit: six crucial questions

January 2008 | by David Campbell
Engaging with the Holy Spirit: six crucial questions
Graham A. Cole
138 pages; £9.99
ISBN: 978-1-84474-179-3

Graham Cole is Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois. This book is based on a series of lectures given at the tenth Oak Hill annual School of Theology in 2006.

The six crucial questions addressed in the book each have to do with our relationship to the Holy Spirit, either as Christians or non-Christians. What is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? How may we resist the Holy Spirit? Ought we to pray to him? How do we quench him? How do we grieve him? How does the Holy Spirit fill us? Each question is dealt with in a separate chapter.

The basic approach in each chapter is the same. After an introduction the author surveys the opinions of significant theologians, past and present, on the question being considered.

This is followed by an examination of the biblical teaching on the subject, some theological reflection on it, and a brief conclusion which helpfully summarises what has been discussed. At the end of the book there is a useful glossary of some theological terms and a textual index. The style of the book is scholarly and clear.

Not every reader will wish to answer the six questions in precisely the way that our author does, and we may dissent from some of his conclusions. But every reader who seriously engages with the book will find much that is stimulating and profitable, and will appreciate having these six important aspects of our relationship with the Spirit examined within the compass of a single book.

David Campbell
Carlisle, Pennsylvania