Having just finished up an extensive set of posts on Quakers, the Holy Spirit is on my mind. So I am now going to concentrate on what the Gospels and book of Acts say about the Holy Spirit. This is going to be a seven part post so please bear with me. I find myself tackling tough theological issues lately. I will try to get back to my regular shorter discussions after this one of complete. But no promises.
Except for a book by Billy Graham that I read years ago I have not studied any theologians’ views of the Holy Spirit so this round is going to pretty much just me and how I personally interpret the biblical words about the Holy Spirit. From my exposure to Christianity the Holy Spirit seems to be the much forgotten member of the Trinity. I know that any three legged stool will sit without rocking but it seems that the Christian stool of the Trinity is very unbalanced. Given the extreme emphasis on biblical text by many Christian sects, to the almost exclusion of messages from the Holy Spirit it seems that at least some Christians would like to rename the trinity as The Father, Son, and Holy Bible!
The most often used icon related to the Holy Spirit is a bird. Yes, the dove does have biblical connotations but I think the image itself tends to diminish the Holy Spirit’s perceived status among Christians and others. While almost all of us love birds they just don’t have the stature of the “old bearded man” that usually depicts God the Father, or the stately European figures that we often see of Jesus. Another is the name given to him by some of the Bible versions around today which is the Holy Ghost. Ghosts have a much different context now than they probably did in biblical times. We have all watched movies like Ghost Busters; that is not what Jesus had in mind when he talked about his partner! Some of us even remember the cartoon Casper, the Friendly Ghost. While he had a more cuddly demeanor, that was also not what Jesus had in mind. So, to me the Holy Spirit is getting a bad rap by many people today. Let’s try and set the record straight 🙂 .
Just what does the New Testament say about the Holy Spirit? That is what I will be investigating. Quakers believe that the Holy Spirit gives each of us personal revelations including how to live our lives. They also believe that they are closer to the beliefs of the early Christians than most other sects around today. These posts will, among other things, concentrate on just how the Holy Spirit interacted with the apostles and other early Christians.
In my mind, the Holy Spirit is probably the least understood member of the Trinity especially among most Protestants and to a large degree even Catholics. As we begin this trek I have to give you the same caveat that I always do. I am not a theologian or a religious scholar. I am just an ordinary guy who wants to know more about the God that I truly love above all else. If you have any differing opinions about anything I say I welcome your input. As long as it is in line with Code of Conduct as indicated by the blog page above.
This will be an interesting study for me and I hope for you.