A quote toward the beginning of this book summed up why I am so excited to have read Open to the Spirit by Scot McKnight.
“To put all our nervous-about-the-Spirit rationalizations into one tight bundle, we reduced the Spirit by resorting to reason, to intellect, to the mind, to the Bible. In doing so, we relegated the Spirit of God, the Third Person of the Trinity, to an idea that our superior logic and careful theology made irrelevant.” – page 6-7
I have long noticed how the evangelical church tends to downplay the Holy Spirit. We talk a lot about God, a good amount about Jesus, but little about the Holy Spirit.
It is a rare thing for a nonfiction book to be a page-turner for me, but this book was definitely that. McKnight starts out writing about the Holy Spirit as we see in Scripture. I think most conservatives hear a phrase like “open to the Spirit” and immediately think of speaking in tongues, rolling in aisles, etc. While he does address similar issues briefly, this is not a book about why one should embrace a “charismatic” lifestyle. It is a book about the Holy Spirit of the Bible and how we can and should be allowing Him and seeing Him in our lives.
Being raised a Baptist, there were several parts where I said, “wait, really? Does the Bible really say that?” And when I looked up the references in context, sure enough….the Bible does say that! I appreciated how this book drew me deeper into the Bible on such an important topic.
I loved how the author talked about walking in the Holy Spirit as just that….walking. It is not adhering to any rules. It is an active thing.
Another good quote…
“At the end of our frustrating conversation, he dropped the mic. ‘If the Holy Spirit ever left planet Earth, you Baptists would never know because all you’ve got is the Bible.’ He had a point: our Holy Spirit was containd and confined by the Bible. For us, the Holy Spirit’s role was limited to unleashing what was in the Bible.” pg 28
All-in-all it was very thought-provoking, very convicting, and very inspiring.
Read more about the author here.
I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for this review.