The Holy Spirit Review

The Holy Spirit
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The Holy Spirit ReviewThis brief work on the Holy Spirit is excellent both in its content and clarity. Though the obvious may turn some people off to this work (Ryrie's a Cessationist), his stance is gracious and charitable. Ryrie does a wonderful job tracing the historic Christian view of the Holy Spirit (in His Person/Deity) and an even better job explaining His work in the Body of Christ. Though I will not explain every stance he has on the Spirit (that's for you to read), I will try to summarize briefly His thought on the Spirit so that other readers will have correct expectations.
On the person of the Spirit, Ryrie is unashamedly orthodox. He explains well His part in creation and His deity as He is Co-equal in essence/nature and power with the Father and Son. He follows with the Spirit's role in revelation/inspiration, and then moves into His role in the OT. It is here where his views on discontinuity begin to come forth. Ryrie clearly sees distinctions in the Spirit's work in the OT (though not contrary) from the NT. I enjoyed this section as Ryrie remains biblical integrity and attempts to handle the discontinuity between the testaments.
Ryrie then explains the Spirit's role in the life of our Lord and remains very conservative in this area. This leads to explanations of the `Blasphemy of the Spirit'. His treatment is excellent on this often misunderstood issue. Ryrie then proceeds to the `slippery slopes' of Special/Common grace, Regeneration, and moves into the Spirit's ministry within the Church body. Ryrie is extremely balanced in his handling of these issues, yet some of his comments on the term `world' (referring to the Spirit's ministry towards `the Elect' in John) may be questionable to some. As stated before, Ryrie is a Cessationist and fairly articulates his position and defends it well. Though I'm somewhat in-between on the Cessationist issue, I feel comfortable with Ryrie's statements in this area.
Though Ryrie has some excellent work on the Sealing, Baptizing, Indwelling, and other Gifting ministries of the Spirit, I find his expressions on the Filling and Anointing works of the Spirit much needed, especially within Dispensational circles on the former of these aspects. First, his explanation of the `Filling' of the Holy Spirit is much more biblical than his tradition's contemporaries (Chafer) which seemed to always see the Filling of the Spirit as some sort of `On/Off' button which was closer to confession of sin and fellowship than an actual abidingness/filling of the Spirit. It seems, in passing, that this older view might have been caused by too much of a reaction towards Wesleyan/Holiness expressions. I find Ryrie's articulation more biblical as he sees filling as deeply increased (not static) through consistent faith/action. The latter section on anointing focuses on the Teacher/Helper element of the Spirit's work as opposed to the common unclear approach where the Spirit's anointing ministry is almost synonymous with the gifting aspects and somewhat blurred with the filling of the Spirit. Clearly, Ryrie's views of the discontinuity between the OT/NT apply to this term here, where the anointing of Kings/Prophets in the OT is much different than the anointing of the believer in the NT. Many may disagree with him, but it is defended well from 1 John 2:20, 27.
Ryrie then concludes with a brief survey on the Spirit in the history of Christian thought. He explains well the orthodox understandings of the Spirit within its deity and personhood in the Trinity contra the many heresies that have plagued the Church throughout its existence (ex: Sabellianism/Modalism, the Spirit as an energy of God, not a Person). He discusses the mayor historical creeds and confessions of the church on the Spirit in this section, presenting solid summaries. Ryrie adds a small listing of helpful books on the Spirit after the conclusion. This is very helpful as it opens up to the reader more options for reading and growing in a deeper understanding of the Spirit's work, especially among other viewpoints in Christian thought.
Overall, this is classic Charles Ryrie: An excellent work of summary, biblical in argument, orthodox in approach, and easy to engage for Christians of all vocations (Layman, Minister, Scholar, etc.). This is a must-read work on the Spirit and one from a very conservative, evangelical scholar.The Holy Spirit OverviewAll students of Scripture can benefit from this concise, practical study of the person and work of the Holy Spirit. All the doctrinal essentials are here, clearly organized and explained by the renowned scholar who prepared the Ryrie Study Bible. Avoiding confusion and trendiness, Dr. Ryrie sticks uncompromisingly to the revealed Word of God to answer questions such as: What is Spirit baptism? What is the sin against the Holy Spirit? What does it mean to be filled with the Spirit? What about the spiritual gift of tongues? What is true spiritual power?This revised and expanded edition includes: Two new chapters on contemporary issues related to the doctrine of the Holy Spirit New overview charts-bird's-eye views of complex issues Handy subject and Scripture indexes for quick reference An updated selected bibliography for further study

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