Flame of Love
In what may be regarded as his magnum opus, Clark Pinnock here turns attention to the vital Christian doctrine of the Holy Spirit. Writing out of wide learning and deep personal passion, he shows us the way to restore the oft-neglected Spirit to centrality in the life and witness of the church.
Pinnock explores the doctrine of the Spirit in relation to other key doctrines such as the Trinity, creation, Christology and the church. Never one to duck the difficult or sensitive questions, he also examines issues of the Spirit's universality, gender language for the Spirit, and charismatic gifts.
Pinnock intends his book to be catholic (in the sense of respecting the beliefs and worship of the historic church) and evangelical (drawing particularly on the heritage of the Reformation). Always in sight is the mission of the church, for "people want to meet the real and living God and will not be satisfied with a religion that only preaches and moralizes." He concludes, "Only by attending to the Spirit can we move beyond sterile rationalist religion in the direction of recovering the sense of intimacy and immediacy for which our generation--and every generation--longs."
"Recently a rapprochement has been occurring between evangelical Protestantism and Eastern Orthodoxy. Flame of Love advances the meeting and is bound to deepen understanding. . . . Pinnock's book is not only a comprehensive and profoundly trinitarian work, it is also beautifully written, filled with grace and a joy to read."
"Clark Pinnock's Flame of Love is a timely book for American evangelicalism, bringing its doctrines into the mainstream of classical Christian faith and teaching. . . . It reaps a vast harvest of recent developments in theology--trinitarian doctrine, Spirit-Christology, theosis-soteriology, sacramental spirituality, charismatic renewal and interreligious dialogue, among others."
"At last the Christian community has a sound Pentecostal theology to guide the still growing renewal movement of the Holy Spirit. Flame of Love is solidly biblical, ecumenical in appeal, evangelical in spirit. . . . Most important, it prophetically challenges tendencies toward quenching of the Spirit and toward excessive enthusiasm that have plagued this spiritual renewal."
"This is an impassioned, yet reasonable and sometimes lyrical tribute to the Holy Spirit. In surely his most important and ecumenical work, Clark Pinnock picks up the Spirit-longings of a culture. . . . This work will stand as an important contribution to a neglected subject and may well become a theological bridge between mainstream, evangelical and charismatic understandings."
"Flame of Love is vintage Clark Pinnock. . . . Above all, the book reveals his passion for the triune God, and it shows how deeply he has drunk from the well of the Spirit about whom he writes. It provides a way not only into Pinnock's head--indeed it is the best summary to date of his entire theological odyssey--but also into his heart."
"Drawing upon Eastern Orthodox, Wesleyan, Roman Catholic and Reformed traditions, Clark Pinnock forges an ecumenical, evangelical theology of the Spirit that deserves serious consideration by the whole church. Even those who take different positions on some of these questions will appreciate the author's willingness to dialogue in the spirit of Christian love."
"I greet Clark Pinnock's book with praise for his seriousness and intellectual courage. Flame of Love is evangelical: a biblically grounded systematic theology for our time with an ecumenical openness to the truth about the Holy Spirit in other Christian traditions and the newer Pentecostal movements."
1 Spirit Trinity
The face of the Spirit in the communion of the Holy Trinity
2 Spirit in Creation
The Spirit as Lord and giver of life, who touches creation and moves it toward completion
3 Spirit Christology
The Spirit anointed Jesus of Nazareth to heal human brokenness from the inside and bring about atonement
4 Spirit Church
The Spirit indwells the church and is present sacramentally and charismatically to endow it for mission
5 Spirit Union
The goal of salvation is to live in loving union with God and to participate in the triune nature through the Spirit
6 Spirit Universality
God desires all to be saved and is found graciously present with every person in every place by the Spirit
7 Spirit Truth
The Spirit leads the church into truth along the path of mission, enabling it to be timely and fruitful in ministry