My rereading of Dallas Willard’s Renovation of the Heart sparked many questions for me. One of them has to do with the role of our individual will as it relates to the work of the Holy Spirit. In search of conversation partners, I first turned to Stanley Grenz’s tome, Theology for the Community of God. He reframes the conversation by speaking of God’s proleptic work of salvation and the Holy Spirit’s function of bringing about this process in creation.
Halldorf, Joel. “Unity through Spirit and Praxis: An Unsystematic Approach to Pentecostalism and the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.” Ecumenical Review 59, no. 4 (2007): 483-490.
This morning I was following some trails along the lines of Christopraxis. An underlying question that has been following me along this research project has been one regarding the Holy Spirit. Why do we not speak more of the praxis of the Spirit, as well as the praxis of Jesus? I realize that Christopraxis is vitally important, because Jesus did not call us to come up with great doctrinal statements about God, but to actually live in a way that glorifies God through love for the other. However, in our lived reality, it is not the physical presence of Jesus in our daily experience that propels our lives, it is the presence of the Holy Spirit that animates our lives. Yes, the physical presence of Jesus in the eucharist is vitally important as we are gathered around the risen body of Jesus and sent into the world as the incarnated Gospel. Yet, it is only through the power of the Spirit that this is possible. Would it not be better to speak of the praxis of Spirit rather than the praxis of Jesus? Jesus is our exemplar, but it is the pluriform and polycentric action of the Spirit at work in, around, and through us that brings the presence of God’s reign into particular and peculiar places. (see Welker. God the Spirit)
Van Gelder, Craig. The Ministry of the Missional Church: A Community Led by the Spirit. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2007.
read about Craig Van Gelder in this post.
This book covers the bulk of the material we discussed in the class that Van Gelder taught called The Hermeneutics of Leading in Mission. Our conversations centered around Van Gelder’s model of Spirit-Led decision making in the last half of the book. Our final project for that class required each of us to write our own theological theory of strategic action. You can see mine here. Ministry was a sort of sequel to Van Gelder’s first book The Essence of the Church. In Ministry of the Missional Church he emphasizes the centrality of the Holy Spirit in gathering, shaping, and sending the church to participate in God’s mission to bring God’s redemptive reign to the world.
Moltmann, Jürgen. The Trinity and the Kingdom: The Doctrine of God. 1st HarperCollins paperback ed. San Francisco, CA: HarperSanFrancisco, 1991.
Jürgen Moltmann (born 8 April 1926) is a German Reformed theologian who is Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology at the University of Tübingen. Moltmann is a major figure in modern theology and was the recipient of the 2000 Grawemeyer Award in Religion, and was also selected to deliver the prestigious Gifford Lectures in 1984-1985. He has made significant contributions to a number of areas of Christian theology, including systematic theology, eschatology, ecclesiology, political theology, Christology, pneumatology, and the theology of creation.