This book is a dynamic intervention in current theological debates on the work of the Holy Spirit. Protestant theology has traditionally seen the role of the Spirit as one that applies Christ’s atoning work to God’s people. Rather than opening up new conversations on the work of the Holy Spirit, such an argument has dichotomised scholars into those who see the Spirit’s work solely in relation to human experience and those who attempt to understand it in terms of its ecclesial functions.
By using notions derived from early Christian thought, Beck’s book takes a rather different stance. He explores the ways in which theologies of the Holy Spirit might be developed within an ahistorical framework. In doing so, he turns around pneumatology’s common preoccupation with what the Spirit does for us to probe instead the ways in which the Spirit can draw us into the saving history of God.
1. An Eschatological Orientation in Pneumatology
2. The Holy Spirit and the Pauline Eschatological Framework
3. Eschatological Characteristics of Pauline Pneumatology
4. Main Themes in the Theology of Jürgen Moltmann
5. Moltmann’s Eschatology
6. The Holy Spirit and Human Communities
7. The Holy Spirit and the Individual
8. The Holy Spirit and Creation
9. Toward an Eschatological Pneumatology
Endorsements and Reviews
Beck gives us two books for the price of one. He builds on a detailed study of the Apostle’s eschatological framework in pneumatology and allows it to absorb through interaction the numerous and rich flavours of Moltmann’s own treatment of that very subject, which (I can say) results in something truly impressive.
Clark H. Pinnock, McMaster Divinity College, Emeritus
… an excellent point of entry into the contemporary discussion of some of the most vital themes of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. It both clearly and accurately identifies the role that Pneumatology has played in the Protestant tradition and the character of its development, as well as demonstrates why eschatology is now widely recognized as constituting the essential horizon of the doctrine. The author then goes on to develop a very insightful account of that connection between eschatology and Spirit in conversation with the Apostle Paul in the first century and Jürgen Moltmann in our own. A very impressive achievement for what began life as a doctoral dissertation! I recommend it highly.
D. Lyle Dabney, Marquette University
We have long needed an account of the relation between eschatology and pneumatology, between the dawning of the kingdom of God and the work of the Holy Spirit. David Beck has given us a splendid volume devoted to this desideratum. Newcomers will find here an accessible introduction; veterans will find a host of insights worthy of further reflection; all will be illuminated and edified.
Prof. William J. Abraham, Perkins School of Theology
This is a very stimulating treatment of the relationship between eschatology and pneumatology and readers will find it a useful, insightful introduction to Moltmann in particular.
Peter C. Orr, in Theological Book Review
Pastor of a non-denominational church in southern California, Beck says that the doctrine of the Holy Spirit has swung back and forth between an institutional tendency and an experiential tendency in Protestantism since the Reformation. Both make significant contributions to the ongoing understanding of the person and work of the Holy Spirit, he says, but also come with unwanted baggage. Rather than try to rehabilitate one or the other, he proposes Christian eschatology as a third option that comes not from the Protestant tradition but from the original language of pneumatology.
Reference & Research Book News, October 2011