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He Who Gives Life: The Doctrine Of The Holy Spirit (Foundations of Evangelical Theology #4) [Hardcover]

By Graham A. Cole (Author) & John S. Feinberg (Editor)
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Item description for He Who Gives Life: The Doctrine Of The Holy Spirit (Foundations of Evangelical Theology #4) by Graham A. Cole & John S. Feinberg...

This comprehensive theology of the Holy Spirit examines and explains the role of the third member of the Trinity.

Publishers Description

Often the most misunderstood, and therefore ignored, member of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit deserves our attention and understanding. God the Father and God the Son rightfully garner much explanation and exploration, and God the Holy Spirit ought to be given the same studiousness, curiosity, and scholarship. In this addition to Crossway's Foundations of Evangelical Theology series, Dr. Graham Cole has written a work that offers a comprehensive theology of the Holy Spirit.

This book shows the ultimate selflessness of the Holy Spirit as the member of the Trinity who always works for the glory of God the Father and God the Son and the good of the saints.

Ideal for pastors, teachers, and students of theology, this book is a superb theology of the Holy Spirit.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Crossway Books
Pages   310
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.25" Width: 6.25" Height: 9.25"
Weight:   1.2 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Aug 16, 2007
Series  Foundations of Evangelical Theology  
Series Number  4  
ISBN  1581347928  
ISBN13  9781581347920  

Availability  0 units.

More About Graham A. Cole & John S. Feinberg

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Graham A. Cole (ThD, Australian College of Theology) is the dean and professor of systematic theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. An ordained Anglican minister, he has served in two parishes and was formerly the principal of Ridley College. Graham lives in Libertyville, Illinois, with his wife, Jules.

Graham A. Cole was born in 1949.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Pneumatology

Christian Product Categories
Books > Theology > Systematic Theology > Pneumatology & Holy Spirit
Books > Theology > Theology & Doctrine > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about He Who Gives Life: The Doctrine Of The Holy Spirit?

Lots of questions, few answers  Mar 10, 2008
A survey of the book - The book is written from an Evangelical perspective dealing specifically with the Holy Spirit. It talks about who the Holy Spirit is, discusses old debates about the Holy Spirit, and addresses the role of the Holy Spirit today. The book does an excellent job of raising some difficult questions about the Holy Spirit, challenging long-held assumptions that I myself had (where in the Bible is the Holy Spirit spoken of as "illuminating"?). The author discusses the mystery of the Holy Spirit, where the Spirit fit in with the Trinity, the Spirit in the OT and the NT, and the Spirit and us.

Overall, it was not a bad book, but I was disappointed with how many great questions it raised but never answered. The book opens with a discussion of the mystery of the Holy Spirit and while I appreciate the humility in the position taken about how we ought not to be dogmatic about things Scripture is not dogmatic about, it seems that that position is taken the other way in this book. Chapter after chapter is filled with many excellent questions about what the role of the Holy Spirit really is and how clear Scripture really is but I was continually dismayed that after the questions would be raised and various people would be quoted, the book would seem to just move on without taking a definitive stance.

One thing in particular that really made me wonder was the continual use of quotations from people outside the stream of Evangelical thought. The author quoted Pope John Paul as if he was an authority on various topics, and while I appreciated the effort to demonstrate the overlap that we have with other streams of thought, I was always a little hesitant about including Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox theologians in what is called "Christian."

Those said, the last section of the book, on the Spirit's role in the church and the believer was greatly encouraging and informative. Though the weaknesses of the book were still evident, here there was a lot more definitive positions and exhortations and encouragements to love God and love His people.

All in all - a thought provoking book, but not one that left me satisfied. I wish there were more answers to the good questions being raised, more definitive "this is what Scripture says" and less statements that don't ever come out and throw their hands up, but seems like it at times. A good book for gaining perspectives on what people believe about the Holy Spirit, but didn't really do a great job laying out a position and defending it.
The Revealing Of The Spirit  Dec 13, 2007
'The Son is the exegete of the invisible Father by the Spirit ('definitively made known', exegesato, John 1:18) and the Spirit as Paraclete is the exegete (John 14:26) of the Son...He is the supreme witness to Christ.' pg 262

Cole goes on to expose the wrong assumptions made by charismatics and Pentecostals:

'Our spouse and friends are embodied, as we read their body language as well as hear their words. But God is unembodied except for the incarnate Christ, and He is at the right hand of the Father. The doctrine of the ascension matters as far as unrealistic expectations of personal dealings with God are concerned.' pg 276

The plethora of pulpit pundits who make a fortune by making fanciful and bogus claims, are vain attempts at making sincere, Bible-believing Christians actually believe that they can hear God's voice every day. For the extremely gullible it eventuates in painful disillusionment. God is only consistently and effectually revealed in His Word. Even in the 21st postmodern century, this truth is contemptuously assailed - sadly, even by some from within the Church.

Then Cole departs from Reformed theology (pg 158), even Catholic theology (pg 159), and enters the critical school of Jurgen Moltmann and James Dunn (who appears to be the major domo on the Holy Spirit in New Perspective circles). A trait of their thesis is to use Lukan authorship to advance their theology. Conservative theologians have best demonstrated the kenosis of Christ.

I quote Benjamin B Warfield, '..the Messiahship, inexpressibly glorious at it is, does not exhaust the glory of Christ. He had a glory greater even than this.' The Person And Work Of Christ, pg 80

Quoting Calvin, 'Another absurdity...namely, that if the Word of God became Incarnate, He must have been confined within the narrow prison of an earthly body, is sheer impudence! For even if the Word in His immeasurable essence united with the nature of man into one person, we do not imagine that He was confined therein.' Institutes, 2:13:4

Quoting John Murray, 'The incarnation was supernatural through and through, because at no point was the supernatural identity of the Person suspended. The proposition that 'God became man' could convey the thought of kenosis (emptying), subtraction, or divestiture; that the Son of God ceased to be what He was and exchanged divine identity for human; that divine attributes, prerogatives, and activities were surrendered, or at least suspended, in order that the human might be real and active.' 2:134-135

Says Murray further, 'By the incarnation and by taking the form of a servant, the Son came to sustain new relations to the Father and the Holy Spirit. He became subject to the Father and dependent upon the operations of the Holy Spirit. It is our Lord's servanthood that advertises this subordination more than any other office.' 2:139

The hypostatic union, the doctrine of the two natures in one Person, was the successful formulation of the Council of Chalcedon: 'truly God and truly man'. I'm not too sure that John Feinberg shares Cole's final 'not-so-evangelical' views...

Cole's clear synopsis of cessationism versus continuation is discussed forthrightly and honestly and is helpful in many ways but inconclusive. pg 253 He also endeavours to explain the normative principles of Pentecost (chapter 9) in a way that does justice to biblical faithfulness - thereby representing firstly views of all diverse beliefs, and then stemming his defense based on their weaknesses. Again, though compelling, they are not conclusive.

A mixture of sources has given Cole a Holy Spirit, but with feet of iron and clay.

Clear, accurate, Biblical, thorough  Sep 10, 2007
Strong Points:
1. The material is distinctly evangelical and Biblical. Though Dr. Cole often draws upon sources outside of evangelicalism, such as philosophy or other Roman Catholicism, he remains both Biblical in his conclusions.
2. Dr. Cole does not back down from confronting error in either theology or philosophy. He does not gloss over or otherwise ignore problems such as Kant's relativism, Feminist theology, or errors regarding the trinity. (I wish he took them on more strongly, more clearly, but the fact that he does it is commendable.)
3. The volume is practical and well-written. The practicality of the material shows up regularly in his conclusions about the impact of a principle on belief and practice. I wouldn't be afraid to give it to almost anyone in a local church.
4. He is conciliatory with regard to the many divergent points of distinction that exist among evangelicals and fundamentalists. While making his conclusions clear he allows for differences. The value I find here is clear: Taking this approach allows the reader to gain a better understanding of the differences and thus become better theologians themselves.

Any weak points? Just one, but it's not his fault: I wish there were more that could be accomplished in these modest 300ish pages. The style and quality editing provided by Dr. Feinberg could allow this volume to become much richer in the years to come. I'm looking forward to more from Dr. Cole in this regard.

Additional observations:
The theme is certainly the "mystery" of the Holy Spirit.
His favorite theologian appears to be B. B. Warfield. The complements seem undending.

Favorite Quote:
Believing that God is mysterious in the sense of incomprehensible has a number of practical corollaries.
At an attitudinal level, humility is the appropriate virtue. (p. 56)

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