Are you afraid of the Holy Spirit being active in your church? Are you willing to admit it?
The Holy Spirit has been a kind of third-rate member of the trinity in the theological writings of mainline and progressive Christians. It seems that the Spirit brings disorder to communities, spiritual arrogance to those who claim to “have the Spirit,” and frequently doctrinal confusion. We’d rather not have something in our churches that goes where it wants, and doesn’t give account for where it’s coming from and where it’s going.
But the biblical picture of the Spirit is one of action, change, and renewal. Perhaps there is a place for this Spirit in a movement claiming the title of “progressive.”
Bruce Epperly has experienced church from many perspectives. He has sat in conservative churches where too much Spirit might be seen as inciting division and heresy. He’s been in progressive churches where the Spirit is often considered peripheral. He’s a process theologian, and the Spirit, as he points out in this book, is often of tertiary concern. But he has also observed Spirit in action, and he thinks we do well to considered this third element of the trinity.
What does it mean for the Spirit to be active? Is it safe? Can it be controlled? Can you keep it bound by your doctrinal statements? It should be active, and you cannot control it, Epperly argues in this book. You shouldn’t control it. Nor does it coercively control you. But it does drive us to new life, to new adventures, and perhaps to transformed understandings of the universe in which we live.
Are you ready to join in this joyous adventure?