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The Holy Spirit

August 12, 2015 Speaker: Series: Systematic Theology Class 2015

Topic: Systematic Theology

Here is week 9 of our summer systematic theology class.

Here are the accompanying notes and files:

The Holy Spirit, Part 1
The Holy Spirit, Part 2
Devotional materials, part 1 and part 2


Hello Class,

This week we delved into the Holy Spirit. Often we can forget about, or at least under-emphasize the Spirit and his work in our lives--not to mention that skewed teaching about the Spirit abounds. This week then was a crucial topic! I hope it was fruitful.

Pastor Larry asked me to pass a few things on to you:

1. One thing I would like to add to last night's discussion is that when we talk about the Holy Spirit we often, wrongly, expect something spectacular. In his classic work on the Holy Spirit, “Keep in Step with the Spirit” J.I. Packer talks about the danger of super supernaturalism.

He writes:

‘Super-supernaturalism’ This is my word for that way of affirming the supernatural which exaggerates its discontinuity with the natural. Reacting against ‘flat-tire’ versions of Christianity which play down the supernatural and do not expect to see God at work, the super-supernaturalist constantly expects miracles of all sorts—striking demonstrations of God’s presence and power—and he is happiest when he thinks he sees God acting contrary to the nature of things, so confounding common sense. For God to proceed slowly and by natural means is to him a disappointment, almost a betrayal. But his undervaluing of the natural, regular and ordinary, shows him to be romantically immature, and weak in his grasp of the realities of creation and providence as basic to God’s work of grace.

The important point that he makes is that even when the fulness of the Holy Spirit is present and at work God often works in what appear to be ordinary, and regular ways. The Spirit often works gently and if we only recognize him as present when spectacular or unusual things take place we will actually miss him in much of the everyday stuff. Paul's whole book of 2 Corinthians is written against the backdrop of people thinking Paul wasn't really filled with the Spirit because he faced so many struggles and seemed personally so unimpressive!

2. Devotional plan
Larry mentioned the homemade devotional plan in a story last night. Attached are some files that show what that looks like (see above).

Read Ch. 18-19 (What will happen when Christ Returns? and What is the final judgment?) in Grudem, Christian Beliefs.

Notes for Week 9

Additional Materials:
Devotional sheets attached.