Refreshing Experience

The Holy Spirit, by Billy Graham (Word, 224 pp., $7.95), is reviewed by Amanda Langemo, Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Just as the author describes the writing of his book as a “personal spiritual pilgrimage” for him, so the reading will surely be an intimate, refreshing experience for anyone seeking to understand the Person of the Holy Spirit better.

While the complex doctrine of the tri-unity of the Godhead challenges the comprehension of even the most sincere Christians, because of our humanness we have less difficulty relating to the Father and Son concepts than we do to that of the Holy Spirit. Creator and offspring, fatherhood and sonship, and even dominion and sacrifice are, after all, within our earthly experience. On the other hand, to apprehend the mystery and to realize the presence of the Holy Spirit demands broader vision and deeper insight than our finite minds can of themselves conceive.

We are greatly helped and encouraged by Billy Graham’s clear interpretation of Scripture, his direct answers to basic questions, and, not least, by his empathic attitude toward all fellow Christians who, like himself, are continuing to inquire into biblical truth and probe the substance of revelation. His explanations are exploratory rather than dogmatic. They confront readers with individual pursuits and spur them on to embark on private pilgrimages to know the One who can activate and endow them with power.

The last several chapters provide a remarkably rewarding study of the well-known “gifts of the Spirit” passages, Romans 12:6–8; 1 Corinthians 12:8–10; Ephesians 4:11. What is meant by “gifts of the Spirit”? What gifts have we been given? How do we recognize them? Why have we been so endowed? How should we use them? ...

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