Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Light of Truth and Fire of Love: A Theology of the Holy Spirit

Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Light of Truth and Fire of Love: A Theology of the Holy Spirit

Article excerpt

Light of Truth and Fire of Love: A Theology of the Holy Spirit. By Gary D. Badcock. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1997. viii + 306 pp. $25.00 (paper).

Badcock, a lecturer in dogmatic theology at the University of Edinburgh, has put together a very readable volume on a largely neglected area of theology and has done it with considerable erudition and virtually no pedantry. His coverage of the biblical material on the Spirit, both Hebrew and Christian, is both brief and thorough at least for readers whose interest would be to see where these sources were taken by the Church. The second and third chapters, one on the patristic development of pneumatology and the other on the filioque controversy, are masterful in their clarity and command of the material. Where there is a disappointing evolution in the theology of the Spirit, the author is fair in explaining why the disappointment developed. The next chapter on Reformation "tradition" on the Spirit was the newest material for this reader and helpful for filling in a lacuna.

The fifth chapter on the experience of the Spirit was an experience of thinness, the only thin one in the book. It attempted to be more anthropological than the rest and touched lightly on both religious experience and the charismatic movement without giving any indication of having much to say about either. If the author gives little indication of being adroit in theological anthropology, the same cannot be said about his grasp of both the history of the doctrine of the Spirit and of pneumatological dogmatics. In chapter six he handles several of the very difficult authors on the Spirit of Jesus such as Heribert Muhlin and Walter Kasper in ways that are clarifying and engaging. …

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