Flame of Love suggests that from the Day of Pentecost the early Christians experienced the tremendous power of the Holy Spirit. They were filled with unexpected sacrificial love, freed from the powers of this world, and given a new kind of ministry of the Spirit (2 Cor. 3:3-9). The works of the Holy Spirit did not simply “disappear” after the apostle died rather the Holy Spirit needs to reappear in the 21st church.
Pinnock compartmentalizes the work of the Holy Spirit in seven sections: Spirit and Trinity, Spirit and Creation, Spirit and Christology, Spirit and Church, Spirit and Union, Spirit and Universality, and Spirit and Truth.
For example, in the Spirit and Church section, Pinnock argues hard for a “recovering and reclaiming” of the sacraments, the Charism, and a mission focused church. He sees the sacraments as a ‘tangible’ sign and symbol. Charisms are located and described in 1 Cor. 12 and 14, Eph 4, and Heb. 2. These gifts are given to fulfill the mission and vocation of the church. The Charisms equip the ministers to orchestrate ministry while giving authority and power. (Eph 4:11-14) The church needs to have a mission of healing, evangelism, and justice. The Spirit is the source of empowerment that paves the way for the Spirit to speak, teach, brake strong-holds, work, heal, and minister.
Pinnock clearly articulates that the Holy Spirit is missing in the 21st church. In a sense, the church has forgotten about the Spirit, which leads Pinnock to argue that there needs to be a re-examination and a furthering reconstruction of the theology of the Holy Spirit (pneumatology). It is imperative that the church finds an understanding on how to practically theologize the Holy Spirit functionality in and out of the halls of the church and academics. He strongly argues that the gifts are the main push for activating the mission and vocation of the church.
Questions I have based off of Flame of Love?
What is the significance of being filled with the ‘Holy Spirit’?
I think there is an experience, often subsequent to conversion, of being ‘filled’ with the Holy Spirit (Eph 5:18). This experience is primarily for the purpose of empowering a believer for ministry (Acts 1:8)
Are the ‘Gifts of the Spirit’ for Today?
I think the gifts of the Spirit are for every believer today, though they are not to be used as ‘criteria’ of one’s spirituality. They are to be used in appropriate contexts and within the New Testament guidelines (I Cor 12-14).
Are ‘Tongues’ the evidence of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?
I deeply value speaking in tongues for those who have the gift. However I deny that it is the single necessary ‘evidence’ of receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
What about ‘holy laughter’, being ‘slain in the Spirit’, and getting the tingles?
I acknowledge that various extraordinary manifestations of the Holy Spirit are possible. I deny that they should be made into any sort of spiritual criteria. When you invite the Spirit in and watch Him move, who knows what will happen? Maybe power, transformation, and reconciliation?
How Do I Let The Holy Spirit Do His Work Without Getting Weird and Crazy?
It is all about balance. Catholics focus on the Father. Protestants focus on Jesus. Pentecostals focus on the Holy Spirit. Not too much, but not too little, but just enough.