God the Spirit

God the Spirit

God the Spirit

God the Spirit

Synopsis

Welker sees Spirit as conflicted territory in a world alive with experiences of the Spirit, searchings for Spirit, and skepticism about the Spirit. In a work that fuses the best of Continental theology with American process thought, he looks first to the problem of religious experience in today's world and inchoate experiences of the power of the Spirit.

Excerpt

In my view, the most important contribution of the present book on "God the Spirit" is that it provides help in coming to a new perception of God and of God's power. By stimulating readers to experience and to understand God and God's power in new ways, the book serves as a guide past the mistaken paths of totalistic metaphysics, merely speculative trinitarianism, abstract mysticism, and irrationalism undertaken by conventional understandings of the Holy Spirit. It likewise serves as a guide past empty formulas and mere silence—be it meaningful or meaningless. The Holy Spirit is neither an intellectual construct nor a numinous entity.

My original intention was to begin my lengthier publications on the most important themes of Christian theology with a volume on "God's Law and God's Gospel." Yet the contents and problems, the actual substance that was to be treated in working on that topic directed my attention, questions, and research over and over again to "God the Spirit." Finally, what was theologically correct also came to make sense on a practical level: to give the Holy Spirit precedence over law and gospel.

In positive terms, the book seeks first to articulate the broad spectrum of experiences of God's Spirit, searches and quests for the Spirit, and skepticism toward the Spirit that define the contemporary world. From this vantage point the book will introduce its readers into the contexts of the diverse testimonies to God's Spirit that we find in the various biblical traditions. An interwoven fabric of testimonies and accounts of God and of God's powerful action among human beings is made clear in a new way. The condition in which these testimonies in general find themselves in academic and popular theologies can be compared to a mosaic that is partly covered with rubble and partly broken in pieces. If the mosaic is to present pictures again, it must first be . . .

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