Holy Spirit Conference

I’m heading tomorrow to Regent University for a conference on “The Holy Spirit and the Christian Life,” hosted by the Divinity School’s Center for Renewal Studies.

It looks to be a very good conference lineup, with topics including Aquinas on the Affections, Hugh of St. Victor on the gifts of the Spirit, Monasticism, Kierkegaard, and Blumhardt on apocalyptic pneumatology (the latter by my Bethel colleague, Christian Winn). I’ll be giving a paper on the mission of the church in the gospel of Matthew. I’ll be presenting some research which my colleague, Jeannine Brown, and I have been putting together. I’ll be sketching an outline of the Spirit as an agent in Matthew, and then suggesting a brief constructive theology of the Spirit (and Christian mission) under the theme, “embodied presence.” I’ll use Moltmann and Dwight Hopkins as complementary voices on the Spirit’s kenotic presence in suffering (Moltmann’s “Spirit of Life”) and the Spirit’s agency in bringing forth justice (Hopkins’ “Spirit of Liberation”). The active agency of the Spirit is embodied in Jesus–and subsequently in Jesus’ disciples, through a willing presence in suffering (and healing) as well as the quest for liberation. The Spirit is embodied in those who open their hearts and hands to welcome strangers, endure suffering, and work for justice.

The conference organizer has let us know that the four plenary sessions (Bradley Nassif, Elizabeth Dreyer,  Michael McClymond, and Paul Lim) will be live-streamed, if you are interested in following those. These addresses are centered on the role of emotion and desire in relation to the Spirit’s activity in the human heart.


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