Sunday, September 13, 2009

God Inside Out - Simon Ponsonby

I've recently finished reading God Inside Out by Simon Ponsonby. Apparently, someone who had read the book though it was so good that they bought a copy for every ordinand in the C of E. Very generous of them. I thought it was certainly good, but not good enough that I'd have bought a copy for all ordinands...

The book sets out to try to provide a Biblical and charismatic account of the person and work of the Spirit, and it does that pretty well. The way he handles, for example, the doctrine of Baptism in the Spirit is excellent. (He argues that the Pentecostal experience is right, but their theologising of it is wrong, and it isn't a "second blessing" of the kind they talk about.)

The one area Ponsonby really doesn't cover, and which I wish he had done, because it's something I think I disagree with a lot of charismatics on, is the question of having "more of the Spirit" and so on. I guess I'm just going to have to read his book on the topic - More.

Here are some good quotes.

If adoration and consecration are not the net result of our theological studies, either what we have studied is flawed, or we ourselves are blinded.
p.17

Man cannot live without joy; therefore when he is deprived of true spiritual joys it is necessary that he become addicted to carnal pleasures.
Thomas Aquinas, quoted on p.196

The spiritual worship which is claimed demands a spiritual force which is not innate in man; to worship in spirit and truth is possible only through the Spirit of God
H.B Swete, quoted on p.303

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