Several years ago, Geoffrey Thomas was invited by the Welsh Evangelical School of Theology to give a series of lectures on the Holy Spirit. He took up the invitation enthusiastically, also preparing a number of sermons on the subject which he delivered at Alfred Place Baptist Church, Aberystwyth, where he has been minister for almost 50 years.
The contents are now in book form, facilitating wider circulation. That is excellent, because this book is very special. Indeed, covering what (for some) has been a controversial topic in recent years, Mr Thomas provides us with a comprehensive survey of the person and work of the Holy Spirit. Moreover, this is true to Scripture and can be trusted.
The book begins appropriately with a chapter entitled ‘The Holy Spirit: the infinite, personal God’, which is about the third person of the Trinity being both personal and divine.
Two chapters on the Holy Spirit’s activity in the Old Testament follow, before chapters on the anointing of the Holy Spirit, the new birth, mortification of sin, revival, and the Holy Spirit and ministry are included.
Particularly moving is the author’s treatment of the Day of Pentecost, as related in Acts 2. Three chapters are dedicated to this, entitled, ‘Preparing for Pentecost’, ‘What happened at Pentecost’ and ‘The preaching of Pentecost’.
The Holy Spirit, with its attractive and telling illustrations, informs the mind and warms the heart. Moreover, it can be understood by any member of the average evangelical church and by any enquirer into the role of the Holy Spirit in the Christian life.
Mr Thomas emphasises the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the life of every Christian. The life of every true believer, he says, should have attached to it the equivalent of a house’s brass name plate, saying: ‘The dwelling place of the holy God — Father, Son and Holy Spirit.’
While the principal features of Roman Catholicism are the Vatican, the priesthood and the mass, and the essential characteristics of liberal theology are man and his achievements, the focus of evangelical doctrine should be on God indwelling his people individually by the Holy Spirit.
There is much in Mr Thomas’s book to encourage the Christian. It merits a wide readership and I cannot commend it too highly.