Rediscovering the Holy Spirit
For the Spirit, being somewhat forgotten is an occupational hazard. The Holy Spirit is so actively involved in our lives that we can take his presence for granted. As they say, familiarity breeds contempt. Just as we take breathing for granted, we can take the Holy Spirit for granted simply because we constantly depend on him. Like the cane that soon feels like an extension of the blind man’s own body, we too easily begin to think of the Holy Spirit as an extension of ourselves.
Yet the Spirit is at the center of the action in the divine drama from Genesis 1:2 all the way to Revelation 22:17. The Spirit’s work is as essential as the Father’s and the Son’s, yet the Spirit’s work is always directed to the person and work of Christ. In fact, the efficacy of the Holy Spirit’s mission is measured by the extent to which we are focused on Christ. The Holy Spirit is the person of the Trinity who brings the work of the Father, in the Son, to completion. In everything that the Triune God performs, this perfecting work is characteristic of the Spirit.
In Rediscovering the Holy Spirit, author, pastor, and theologian Mike Horton introduces readers to the neglected person of the Holy Spirit, showing that the work of God’s Spirit is far more ordinary and common than we realize. Horton argues that we need to take a step back every now and again to focus on the Spirit himself—his person and work—in order to recognize him as someone other than Jesus or ourselves, much less something in creation. Through this contemplation we can gain a fresh dependence on the Holy Spirit in every area of our lives.
About the Author
Michael Horton (PhD) is Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics at Westminster Seminary in California. Author of many books, including The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way, he also hosts the White Horse Inn radio program. He lives with his wife, Lisa, and four children in Escondido, California.
You don’t have to agree with everything that Michael Horton says in this important book, but the main lines of his thought are certainly right and utterly transforming. The Holy Spirit is not “shy.” Nor is he the member of the Godhead who fills in the bits and pieces of our experience that the Father and the Son neglected to take on. By displaying the sweeping work of the Spirit across redemptive history, Horton not only deepens our understanding of Scripture but our grasp of what it means to confess God as triune. And that calls us to deeper worship. -- D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Horton has given us a magisterial account of the person and work of the Spirit that is also a journey through the entire sweep of Christian doctrine. Along the way, he offers rich scriptural insights, engagement with key figures down the millennia and across traditions, and speaks into pressing contemporary concerns, drawing out the implications of a robustly scriptural and Trinitarian pneumatology for faith and life, worship and mission. -- Suzanne McDonald, Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology, Western Theological Seminary, Holland, Michigan,
Rediscovering the Holy Spirit is a veritable voyage of theological discovery in the engaging company of expedition leader professor Michael Horton. Plotting a fascinating course through the ocean of biblical theology, he maps out the terrain of systematic theology and sets up landmarks for the faith of the church as she confesses “I believe in the Holy Spirit.” En route he points out some of the breathtaking vistas and glorious panoramas of the Spirit’s divine person and his creating, saving, and consummating activity. The whole expedition is a further demonstration of Mike Horton’s remarkable ability to tackle great themes with both freshness of insight and joy in exposition. Here is a work to which readers will return and find themselves, in concert with the church in every age, gladly bowing in worship to the Holy Spirit “together with the Father and the Son.” -- Sinclair B. Ferguson, Distinguished Visiting Professor of Systematic Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary
Here is a carefully wrought work that reorganizes much of the material we expect to find in a doctrine of the Holy Spirit, connecting things too often bifurcated while distinguishing things too often conflated. This pneumatology pushes and pulls on some of our habitual categories because it attends so carefully to the Holy Spirit as the one who not only reconciles and perfects (the sections on the Spirit in creation and eschatology stand out) but also sanctifies and separates (the Spirit’s role in judgment and consecration is strikingly accented). It is wonderful that Horton says considerably more here about the Holy Spirit than we have heard from him in previous books, but it is equally wonderful that what he says is in keeping with the main lines of his theological project: anchored in the Trinity, spanning redemptive history, and directly connected to the ordinary ministry of the church. -- Fred Sanders, Professor, Torrey Honors Institute, Biola University