How does the Holy Spirit function in the life of a believer? The questions as to how the third person of the Trinity operates have garnered much discussion throughout the Christian age. How are we to understand the nature of the relationship of the believer and the Holy Spirit? With such incongruity of thinking and charged convictions, meaningful dialogue is often missing from these discussions. Perspectives on Spirit Baptism presents in counterpoint form the common beliefs on the baptism of the Holy Spirit which have developed over the course of church history with a view toward determining which is most faithful to Scripture. Each chapter is written by a prominent representative from within each tradition—with the biblical, historical, and theological issues within that tradition. In addition, each writer provides a brief response to the other traditions.
“Though Keswick advocates argue for a genuine reception of the Spirit at salvation, they contend that Christians are not generally delivered from the power of sin at this time. This deliverance awaits a subsequent ‘baptism’ or ‘filling’ of the Spirit that gives one power over sin.85 After this baptism one can live a virtually spontaneous Christian life with power for service and power over sin. This results from a fundamental shift taking place in the heart that transforms character and produces a kind of spontaneous Christian experience.” (Page 11)
“We conclude that Luke does have a different emphasis in his doctrine of the power the Holy Spirit gives to believers, but we do not think that that work of the Holy Spirit can be linked to the promise of the Father about the baptizing in the Holy Spirit and fire. Those are separate topics that have incorrectly been linked by way of the approach of ‘an analogy of faith’44 rather than by way of solid exegesis.” (Page 29)
“Eventually, though, most Pentecostals would drop sanctification as an identifiable encounter, and opt for a two-stage understanding of salvation and Spirit baptism with the evidence of tongues as the biblical model. Stanley Horton ably defends the traditional Pentecostal interpretation of tongues as initial evidence of Spirit baptism in this book.” (Page 12)
“Wesley came to understand his central mission to be to restore the biblical balance between justification and sanctification, a balance that had been skewed toward sanctification by the Catholic tradition and toward justification by the Protestant.” (Page 183)
Chad O. Brand serves as Associate Dean of Biblical and Theological Studies at Boyce College.