Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Book Review: "He Who Gives Life: The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit" by Graham Cole

He Who Gives Life: The Doctrine of the Holy SpiritHe Who Gives Life: The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit by Graham A. Cole
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Able, even-handed survey of the Bible’s teaching on the Holy Spirit.

Graham Cole has done the Church a service by succinctly sketching out the main lines of the complex data in the Bible about the Third Person of the Trinity and ably assembling them into a coherent picture of His person and ministry.

Cole’s work is a textbook example of theological method. I learned not only from what he wrote but how he wrote it. It’s careful, learned, and cheerful. He does an excellent job of providing balancing perspectives on the many controversial questions about the Holy Spirit. At times, I wished he was more decisive and less tentative about his exegetical and theological decisions, but that just shows how difficult some of the judgment calls are to make in this arena. Wherever a strong conclusion was required by the either the importance of the question or the preponderance of the biblical evidence, Cole did not hesitate to reach it or state it. If I could write a book on this level, I would want to do it on this model.

I especially appreciated how Cole started with the mystery and elusiveness of the Spirit (He is the uncontrollable wind!) and ended with His divine self-effacement. The Spirit of God is perfectly worthy to be made known but is best known as He makes known the Son of God. “The magnificence of the Spirit lies in this self-effacement or divine selflessness. For this reason believers are rightly called ‘Christias’ not ‘Pneumians’” (pg. 284). Highly recommended.

P.S. The glossary in the back was extremely helpful!

View all my Goodreads reviews.