A Spirit for the Rest of Us

Spirit_Rest_of_Us_FINAL.inddLeafwood Publishers. 2009.
238 pages. 18 chapters. 4 appendices.

Many churches, many Christians, don’t know what to do with the Holy Spirit. Although he is present on almost every page of our New Testaments, he is shockingly absent (for some) in worship, prayer, ministry, and life. On the other hand, there are those in the religious world around us who have fallen in love with signs and wonders, assuming that evidence of spiritual gifts must also be evidence of true spirituality. “The rest of us” find ourselves caught between the extremes of Spirit abandonment and sign obsession.

Yet, when you pause long enough to actually hear what Jesus himself says about the Spirit, you discover promises that touch deep-rooted longings and answer overwhelming needs. The Spirit Jesus talks about (in the Final Discourse of John’s gospel) is a Spirit who walks with us, lives in us, teaches and equips us, gives us courage and boldness in our witness, prepares the world to hear our testimony, and is deeply, daily at work maturing disciples so that we can contain the fullness of God.

Jesus doesn’t talk about the Spirit’s gifts … he talks about the gift of the Spirit. He doesn’t show much interest in supernatural manifestations when he discusses the Spirit with his Apostles … he is interested in the supernatural work of the Spirit  on their characters and lives. He makes it clear that they will not succeed (in ministry or in life) without an intimate relationship with the Spirit … a word and a warning the modern church needs to heed.

A Spirit for the Rest of Us challenges both ends of the Spirit spectrum. It chides those who lack an adequate theology and practice of the Spirit in their lives and in their churches. And it questions the validity of any understanding of the Spirit that places emphasis on miracles over transformation. Jesus insists that the truest and greatest work of the Spirit is to make us spiritual. We cannot grow up in Christ without the Spirit. But we will not grow up in Christ if (like the Corinthians) we are more concerned with supernatural fireworks than with tranforming power.

Table of Contents for A Spirit for the Rest of Us

Table of Contents for A Spirit for the Rest of Us

Chapter One from A Spirit for the Rest of Us.

Chapter One from A Spirit for the Rest of Us.

© 2012 by Tim Woodroof. Reproduction of this material requires permission from the author.