Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
BSac 144:575 (Jul 87) p. 344
Saga of the Spirit. By Morris A. Inch. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1985. 280 pp. Paper, $12.95.
A unique balance of material from biblical, systematic, and historical theology dealing with the person and work of the Holy Spirit is presented in this book (the author is professor of theology at Wheaton College). In his preface the writer refers appreciatively to W. H. Griffith Thomas’s book The Holy Spirit of God (1913) as a landmark approach to this area of theology with its comparable blend of theological disciplines. This new book is somewhat of an “update” of the work of Thomas.
Perceptive insights are offered the reader at every level of the study. The biblical materials are dealt with creatively. Inch stresses the vital truth of the baptism of the Holy Spirit as being the work of the Spirit at conversion whereby the believer is placed into the body of Christ. His descriptive study of the filling of the Spirit is similar to the ideas offered by Lewis S. Chafer. Inch notes that “being filled with the Spirit…resembles less the analogy of filling a bucket of water than the resolve of a runner at the beginning of a race. The latter fixes his full attention on the task before him, drawing upon every known resource to get away quickly at the sound of the gun and hold a steady pace to the end” (p. 150). Inch points out that the ambiguities of the charismatic movement make it difficult to analyze, and he points out some of the inherent problems in the movement.
Frederic R. Howe
BSac 144:575 (Jul 87) p. 345
The Sovereign Spirit: Discerning His Gifts. By Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Wheaton, IL: Harold Shaw Publishers, 1985. 160 pp. Paper, $7.95.
This is intended to be a companion volume to the author’s Joy Unspeakable, in which he emphasized that the purpose of Spirit baptism is to make believers witnesses for Christ. The late Martyn Lloyd-Jones has been regarded by many as following in Spurgeon’s steps as a preacher. The content of this volume was originally given as sermons while Jones was minister at London’s Westminster Chapel. J. I. Packer in his foreword admits some disagreement with Jones over his analysis of Spirit baptism but praises him for affirming that none of the spiritual gifts have been permanently withdrawn.
Concentration in the volume is given to the sign gifts, though the book’s title might indicate a broader approach. Lloyd-Jones equates the baptizing work of the Spirit with the filling of the Spirit. He also believes all the gifts of the Spirit “happen to us; they are given us” (p. 156).
Care is taken, however, to avoid extreme and radical views regarding the gifts...
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