The Holy Spirit in Mission: Prophetic Speech and Action in Christian Witness, By Gary Tyra

The Holy Spirit in Mission

Prophetic Speech and Action in Christian Witness

by Gary Tyra

The Holy Spirit in Mission
  • Length: 206 pages
  • Dimensions: 6 × 9 in
  • Published: October 19, 2011
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 3949
  • ISBN: 9780830839490

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The church has been called to participate in God's mission in the world. But without a robust, biblical sense of the Spirit's action, how can we be sure we're fulfilling that call?

Gary Tyra employs a biblical theology of the Holy Spirit to deepen and inform our understanding of life as the church, the people of God. Since the church's mission to and into the world is both evangelistic and prophetic, the task calls for the working of the Spirit in our preaching, proclamation and service. Tyra brings together both charismatic and evangelical emphases resulting in a theological and practical synthesis that is richer than when either is taken separately.

"This book is especially helpful in making the activity of the Holy Spirit in our lives clear and accessible to the individual. I highly recommend it for those who want to make 'prophetic speech and action in Christian witness' something they actually work with and count on."

Dallas Willard, author of Hearing God

"This study brims over with enthusiasm and conviction, from its biblical survey of the role of the Spirit in mission, to Tyra's creative argument backed by personal experience in the Pentecostal movement and quotations from many mission scholars and theologians."

Allan H. Anderson, University of Birmingham, UK

"Recent years have seen the emergence of a series of writings addressing various aspects of the Holy Spirit's role in the church and mission. Gary Tyra's The Holy Spirit in Mission focuses on a theme which has not found adequate treatment in contemporary theological literature. The role of inspired prophetic speech as an essential aspect of the Spirit's empowerment in the life of a believer is of special interest especially in many parts of the majority world where the power of the Holy Spirit is igniting explosive church growth. However, as every sympathetic but astute observer knows, the effectiveness of such 'Spirit' movements are often hindered by inadequate biblical and theological grounding. Tyra's work succeeds in addressing a critical gap in this regard. Tyra's sensitive scholarship and pastoral experience have helped him to come up with a sound, balanced and readable volume—a welcome contribution of immense value to the health of the global church. Although Tyra's views are significantly shaped by his Pentecostal roots, the case he presents is consonant with evangelical essentials and should provoke interest and response from a wide spectrum of Christians who warmly and reverently welcome the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the church today. This book is an essential addition to every theological library!"

Ivan Satyavrata, senior pastor and chairman, The Assembly of God Church Mission, Kolkata, India, and International Deputy Director, South Asia, The Lausanne Movement

"The Holy Spirit in Mission is a fresh call to the church to intentionally participate with the Holy Spirit in what God is doing in the church and in the world. It engages the best of missional scholarship while giving very practical examples of how we can all be involved with the Spirit in God's mission. I highly recommend it to all church leaders."

Berten A. Waggoner, national director, Vineyard USA

"I applaud Gary Tyra's bridge-building efforts on this most practical and pivotal arena of our joint witness throughout the body of Christ."

Jack W. Hayford, president, The King's University

"The Holy Spirit in Mission breaks fresh ground in connecting the dots between a missional pneumatology and a missional ecclesiology. Appealing to the authority of the biblical narrative as the story of the triune God and its portrayal of the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of God's people, Gary Tyra argues persuasively that a biblically based pneumatology can empower the missional church movement to align church ministry with God's own mission and redemptive agenda for the human family and the creation. By emphasizing Spirit-empowered prophetic speech in the proclamation of individual salvation in Christ—as well as broader truth claims—and by emphasizing Spirit-empowered practices of disciple-making, social transformation and creation care, Tyra claims that the church provides an authentic Christian witness to the truthful nature of the missionary God. This book is a must-read—and a very engaging read—for church ministers, rank-and-file church members, denominational leaders, college students and seminarians, and theological educators. I highly recommend it."

Murray W. Dempster, Distinguished Professor of Social Ethics, Southeastern University

"The title of this book states clearly the focus of Tyra's work. The Holy Spirit and mission are neither isolated themes nor disconnected activities, but are clearly connected to a missionary God whose redemptive impetus is centered in the continuing mission of Jesus, empowered by the Spirit. Tyra moves beyond the defining parameters of his own faith tradition and speaks clearly about what should be the heartbeat of every follower of Jesus who realizes that the redemptive mission of Jesus is the organizer for our meaning and purpose in life."

Byron D. Klaus, president, Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, Springfield, Missouri

"I warmly recommend this practical theology of the Spirit to my fellow ministers. In a time in which newly acquired knowledge outpaces experience and wisdom, and theory is preached in isolation from the practice of ministry, Tyra argues for a more dialectical approach in presenting the whole-life transformation of the prophetic mission of the Holy Spirit in the life of the church in America."

Jesse Miranda, executive presbyter, General Council of Assemblies of God,and CEO, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference

"Gary Tyra's emphasis on prophetic speech and action as critical elements of Spirit empowerment in the life of a believer is a theme that has been underrepresented in the theological literature and underutilized in concrete practice. This book inspires pastors and laypeople to obey the Spirit's divine promptings to act in a manner that will indeed change the lives of hurting people."

Doug Petersen, associate editor, Pneuma, and professor, Vanguard University 

"Prophecy is a much-misunderstood gift of grace that has been lost to much of the contemporary American church. Gary Tyra has provided a biblically informed and practical book to guide church leaders in the restoration of prophetic speech and action for Christian witness and service."

Margaret M. Poloma, professor emeritus of sociology, The University of Akron

"Outside of the West, the church is exploding in rapid growth and influence, and leading experts tell us that much of it is due to supernatural manifestations of the Holy Spirit. What has been needed is a biblically and theologically savvy defense of this role of the Spirit in the church's mission. Tyra's excellent book more than adequately fills that need. His treatment of the importance of the prophetic is alone worth the price of the book."

J. P. Moreland, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, and coauthor of In Search of a Confident Faith

"This important book repairs the disconnect between big-picture 'missional' depictions of the Spirit's work in renewing the creation and those who are calling us to engage in prophetic speaking and acting in the power of the Spirit. Gary Tyra not only makes his biblical-theological argument in a convincing manner, but he reinforces his case with powerful real-life accounts of the Spirit's prophetic leadings."

Richard J. Mouw, president and professor of Christian philosophy, Fuller Theological Seminary

"Gary Tyra suggests that the renewal of evangelical witness in a post-Christian era will involve a rediscovery of the Spirit's guidance in all aspects of serving God's kingdom purposes in the world. The result is a missional pneumatology that calls churches to discern and embody ever anew the Spirit's ongoing witness to the word of the living God. Tyra's vision is timely not only for Pentecostals and evangelicals but for Christians of all confessional families."

Frank D. Macchia, author of Baptized in the Spirit: A Global Pentecostal Theology

"Among the many recent 'turns' in the doctrine and spirituality of the Holy Spirit, the turn to mission might well be the most significant one! A fresh, inspiring and prophetic missional pneumatology outlined and developed in this work, in close conversation with missional ecclesiology, provides the kind of biblical, practical and theological impetus evangelicals have been waiting for. The reader will be faced with a simple and profound challenge: The missionary Spirit of the missionary God is ready for the world—what about you and your church?"

Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen, professor of systematic theology, Fuller Theological Seminary

"It's ironic that it's taken a century for this book to be written. Gary Tyra helps Pentecostals and non-Pentecostals see that we all are charismatic, each of us embodying the Spirit who is missional. Regardless of one's experience, all are called to hear his promptings, and in obedience see the many ways his power is manifested. The Spirit conspires to do the will of the Father. Each member of the people of God has all that's needed to function in fullness as his missional witness. Tyra has provided a very readable, biblically informed and anecdotal manuscript showing how the Spirit is missional. A complete and deeply helpful book for one's devotional and ministry life."

Brian C. Stiller, global ambassador, The World Evangelical Alliance, president emeritus, Tyndale University College Seminary

"This book makes an important contribution to the growing literature on the missional church movement by focusing on the Holy Spirit and the role of prophetic activity. Tyra's view of prophetic activity is supported with a careful analysis that draws out implications for a renewed ministry focus on engaging Western culture. I highly recommend it."

Michael Wilkinson, Trinity Western University

"The Holy Spirit in Mission by Gary Tyra challenges the evangelical church in post-Christian America to live and serve by the dynamic of a missional pneumatology. Tyra's presupposition is that being missional is the heartbeat of the Holy Spirit. His message is timely, provocative and compelling, and it captures the spirit of missions. Christian leaders might want to buy this book by the dozen and share it with their leadership teams. Those who have ears to hear need to hear what this prophetic book says to evangelical Christians about prophetic speech and action in Christian witness."

Roger Stronstad, Biblical Theology Director, Summit Pacific College

"Gary Tyra offers a sweeping panoramic view of the Spirit in mission. This academically critical and yet extremely reader-friendly study serves well as a prophetic call for all Christian communities to be Spirit-empowered witnesses following God's trajectory in mission."

Wonsuk Ma, Ph.D. executive director, Oxford Centre for Mission Studies

"Missional pneumatologies are rare enough, but when Gary Tyra fills this serious theological vacuum with this truly excellent exploration of the role of the Spirit in mission, we can only be grateful. This is an addition to the missional conversation we have been waiting for."

Alan Hirsch, founder of Forge Mission Training Network and author of The Forgotten Ways

"Gary Tyra has succeeded in translating and interpreting the 'tongues' of Pentecostal missiology into evangelical idiom! Students will be immersed into the salvation-missional history of the Bible and introduced to the most vital streams in contemporary mission theology. A must-read for missiologists and anyone else seeking to fulfill the Great Commission."

Amos Yong, professor, Regent University School of Divinity, and coeditor of Pneuma

"For more than a decade, in dialogue with the missional and emerging movements, I have awaited this book. Thank God for Gary Tyra's insights regarding how the church's ongoing conversational relationship with the Holy Spirit informs engagement with culture and empowers Christian mission. Best I've seen by a wide margin."

Todd Hunter, missionary bishop, The Anglican Mission, and author of Christianity Beyond Belief

"This book marks a new frontier in evangelical missiology, the gift being a new breed of Pentecostal pastor who blends evangelical learning with Pentecostal experience of the Spirit into a rare but emerging genre: missiological pneumatology."

Russ Spittler, professor emeritus of New Testament, and provost emeritus, Fuller Theological Seminary

"Tyra's work is a welcome voice to the missional church movement. His emphasis on missional pneumatology is necessary to the ways in which the church understands and carries out ministry. It also provides a solid resource for clergy, laity and seminarians."

Andrew Kinsey, Missiology, 41(3)

". . . the book critically fills a lacuna and important bridges big-picture visions of what the missional church should do vis-à-vis personal callings for ministry. On this, we can salute Tyra's call to Christians to obey God's voice more clearly, more missionally, and more corporately in ways that are less programmatic but more Spirit-led in mission."

John Cheong, Trinity Journal, Spring 2014

"Western evangelicals are facing many challenges of a changing cultural and spiritual terrain and Tyra challenges us to follow biblical and contemporary examples of Spirit-empowered Christianity. . . . In our twenty-first-century historical context we in the West are as much a mission-receiving culture as a mission-sending one. Tyra's work helps us all to see where we need to go."

Malcolm R. Brubaker, The Pneuma Review, Fall 2012

"Tyra's book is a must read for any leader wishing to lead his or her church into authentic New Testament ministry."

Denzil R. Miller, Enrichment, Fall 2012

"Christians from various theological backgrounds will benefit from Tyra's counsel to be more sensitive to the Spirit's movements as we seek to edify and equip disciples for missional faithfulness."

Trevin Wax, Christianity Today, January 2012


1. "Would God That All the Lord?s People Were Prophets"
The Biblical Connection Between the Coming of the Spirit and Prophetic Activity
2. "You Shall Receive Power"
The Connection Between Prophetic Activity and Missional Faithfulness
3. "The Spirit Bade Me Go"
Missional Faithfulness and the Growth of Global Pentecostalism
4. "Men of Athens!"
Becoming More Missionally Faithful in the West
5. "A Man Named Ananias Came to See Me"
Encouraging Missional Faithfulness Among the Evangelical Rank and File
Name Index
Subject Index
Scripture Index


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Gary Tyra

Gary Tyra (DMin, Fuller Theological Seminary) is professor of biblical and practical theology at Vanguard University of Southern California. Formerly the chair for the department of religion at Vanguard, Tyra also has over twenty-five years of pastoral experience including his last position as senior pastor at Yorba Linda Community Church in Yorba Linda, California. Tyra is the author of The Holy Spirit in Mission, Christ's Empowering Presence, A Missional Orthodoxy, Beyond the Bliss, and Defeating Pharisaism, as well as numerous published papers and articles. He and his wife Patti have two grown children and reside in California.