Review Of Macchia, “Justified In The Spirit: Creation, Redemption”, And The Triune God. -- By: Andrew Ray Williams

Journal: Conspectus
Volume: CONSPECTUS 20:1 (Sep 2015)
Article: Review Of Macchia, “Justified In The Spirit: Creation, Redemption”, And The Triune God.
Author: Andrew Ray Williams


Review Of Macchia, “Justified In The Spirit: Creation, Redemption”, And The Triune God.

Andrew Ray Williams1

Macchia F D 2010. Justified in the Spirit: creation, redemption, and the triune God. Pentecostal Manifestos. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans.

1. Introduction

In Frank Macchia’s work, the author attempts to ‘develop a pneumatological theology of justification inspired by a Pentecostal metaphor, the baptism in the Spirit’ (p. 14). He proposes that divine koinonia, or the mutual indwelling of the Trinity, is the most fruitful context for bridging the gap between the usually isolated doctrines of creation, justification and sanctification. This noted Pentecostal-ecumenical theologian takes a deep look at both the Protestant and Catholic doctrines of justification, moving past both in order to reconcile them within the Spirit’s embrace. Therefore, Macchia highlights the role of pneumatology in order to lead ‘toward a Trinitarian integration of justification’ (p. 293).

Pneumatological reflections, and as a result, Trinitarian theology are the means by which Macchia develops his vision of justification. This vision is both metamorphic and forensic by developing justification from within the indwelling Spirit’s eschatological mission of bringing all of creation into the embrace of the divine koinonia. For Macchia,

this Trinitarian embrace finds its ultimate fulfilment in the resurrection of the dead and the new creation. Consequently, justification is essentially eschatological, as justification must have its beginning and ending in the extensiveness of the life of the Spirit.

2. Summary

Throughout the chapters of his book, Macchia sets out to develop a Trinitarian theology of justification with an emphasis on Spirit baptism. Justification then is pneumatological in substance, ‘consisting of pardon, the victory of life over death, divine witness and vindication, and participation in the divine koinonia’ (p. 13). In the first part of the book, which consists of chapters 2, 3, and 4, the author explores three models of justification and how these connect with the Spirit: Catholic, Protestant and Pentecostal.

Macchia first shows how the Catholic doctrine of justification moved in the direction of a moral view of the justified relationship and an anthropological emphasis on acquired virtues (p. 36). However, the modern Catholic reach for the Spirit has the potential to help view justification within the wide-open spaces of the Trinit...

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