The Holy Spirit, once forgotten, has been “rediscovered” in the twentieth century—or has he? Sinclair Ferguson believes we should rephrase this common assertion: “While his work has been recognized, the Spirit himself remains to many Christians an anonymous, faceless aspect of the divine being.” In order to redress this balance, Ferguson seeks to recover the who of the Spirit fully as much as the what and how. Ferguson’s study is rooted and driven by the scriptural story of the Spirit in creation and redemption. Throughout he shows himself fully at home in the church’s historical theology of the Spirit and conversant with the wide variety of contemporary Christians who have explored the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. Foundational issues are surveyed and clarified. Hard questions are explored and answered. Clarity and insight radiate from every page. Here is the mature reflection of a Reformed theologian who will summon respect and charity from those who disagree.
“What is of interest is that the activity of the divine ruach is precisely that of extending God’s presence into creation in such a way as to order and complete what has been planned in the mind of God. This is exactly the role the Spirit characteristically fulfils elsewhere in Scripture. In the New Testament the Spirit undertakes this role in the accomplishment of redemption: the Father sends, the Son comes, the Spirit vindicates (1 Tim. 3:16); the Father plans, the Son sacrifices and rises, the Spirit applies (e.g. 1 Pet. 1:1–2).” (Page 21)
“Already, however, it is clear from the various biblical references above that ruach denotes more than simply the energy of God; it describes God extending himself in active engagement with his creation in a personal way.” (Page 18)
“From womb to tomb to throne, the Spirit was the constant companion of the Son. As a result, when he comes to Christians to indwell them, he comes as the Spirit of Christ in such a way that to possess him is to possess Christ himself, just as to lack him is to lack Christ.” (Page 37)