The Holy Spirit -- By: C. Norman Bartlett

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 078:310 (Apr 1921)
Article: The Holy Spirit
Author: C. Norman Bartlett

The Holy Spirit

C. Norman Bartlett


A wealth of learning and thought has been expended in building, buttressing, and beautifying our system of Christian Theology. But the doctrine of the Holy Spirit has been comparatively neglected. Systematic Theologies, rich in the development of other doctrines, have devoted but a few pages of cursory comment to the Holy Spirit. Only a few monographs have been written that furnish any real contribution to the subject. Familiar facts are decorated with rhetoric. Difficulties are left as confusing as ever. In current preaching, moreover, the subject is seldom treated. It is practically ignored by the modern pulpit. Christians at large attach far too little importance to it.

As a result of this widespread neglect, erroneous conceptions about the Holy Spirit are afloat everywhere. Some think of Him simply as the influence of God in human life. Others identify Him with conscience. Still others consider Him merely the personification of the attributes of God. I

But the Bible teaches plainly that the Holy Spirit is a Divine Terson. To Him are ascribed all the distinctive attributes of personality: knowledge (1 Cor. 2:10, 11), will (1 Cor. 12:11), mind (Rom. 8:27), and love (Rom. 15:30). To Him are attributed acts ascribable only to a person: searching (1 Cor. 2:10), speaking (Rom. 2:7), and commanding (Acts 16:6).

Our treatment of the subject lies in the field of speculative rather than of Biblical theology. The latter field

has been well covered by such able Bible students as B. A. Torrey, G. C. Morgan, and others. Assuming that our readers are familiar with and accept what the Bible reveals about the Holy Spirit, we shall attempt to show the baselessness of the contention often made that the doctrine of the Holy Spirit is utterly irreconcilable with reason. The psychological reasonableness of the doctrine is the dominant undercurrent of our thinking. The views advanced are almost entirely our own. We have endeavored to make our thesis an original contribution.

The Trinity

The doctrines of the Holy Spirit and the Trinity are so closely intertwined that neither can be understood except in the light of the other.

Many have been the attempted explanations of the Trinity. It has...

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