It is said, sometimes with embarrassing frequency, that until recent decades the Holy Spirit was ‘the forgotten Person in the Godhead’. It is assumed in such a statement that only in the second half of the twentieth century has there been a recovery of biblical teaching. Only now has the Holy Spirit been given the central place he merits in evangelical thinking.

The word ‘embarrassing’ is not used here carelessly. For such statements suffer from a characteristic modernism—a false assumption that our discovery of something must be epochal in its significance. But the truth of the matter is that this century is yet to produce an evangelical work on the Holy Spirit which merits comparison with the great and biblically creative studies of the past. It is doubtful if we moderns begin to approximate to the experimental and intellectual wrestlings of our forefathers (whether Father, Reformers or Puritans) in their desire to know the ‘communion of the Holy Spirit’ [2 Cor. 13:14].

In this context, it is worth reminding ourselves that probably no writer has produced a treatise on the Holy Spirit which begins to rival the detailed exposition of John Owen’s great study in his Pneumatologia. Much attention has been rightly focused on Owen’s quasi Ph.D. dissertation, The Death of Death in the Death of Christ, and on his great studies on the nature, power and conquest of indwelling sin, Works. But Owen himself seems to have regarded the material now contained in volumes III and IV of Goold’s edition of his Works as his special contribution to the theology of the Christian Church. What follows is not intended as a major redress of that balance, so much as an hors d’oeuvre, designed to give a taste of the riches of Owen’s Pneumatology. At the same time it will point to an area of our thinking about the Holy Spirit which too frequently continues to be overlooked in our thoughts of him, and in our teaching about him.
A very informative and edifying article by Sinclair Ferguson. Do take the time to read this one through at least once. grin

You can read this article HERE.

In His service and grace,

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simul iustus et peccator

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