Before Jesus ascended up into Heaven from earth, He told the disciples that “a comforter would come.” Jesus even referred to this comforter as a “promise.” The promise as we all know is the promise of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is without question the most forgotten member of the Trinity (The Godhead- The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit). In fact, Francis Chan wrote a book with that same title back in 2009 about the Holy Spirit.
J.D. Greear released his new book last month entitled Jesus Continued by J.D. Greear. His discussion is centered around his thought of “why the Spirit inside you is better than Jesus beside you.” J.D. expresses his struggle in the book with relating to the Spirit himself and his struggle in teaching others to relate to the forgotten person of the Trinity. I think it is safe to say that J.D. is focused heavily on knowing the proper theology of pneumatology (the doctrine of the Holy Spirit) as well as teaching his readers to connect with the Holy Spirit in a new way.
The book is divided into three parts. 1) The Missing Spirit 2) Experiencing the Holy Spirit 3) Seeking the Holy Spirit. The first part, the missing Spirit, deals with a heavy dose of the theology of the Spirit. There is also a great deal of personal commentary on the dilemma between each extreme of forgetting the Holy Spirit. There is a conservative extreme where you hardly recognize the Holy Spirit. You never mention or speak of Him for the fear of being labeled charismatic. Then there is the liberal extreme. In this section, J.D. looks into the introduction of the person of the Holy Spirit.
The second part, experiencing the Holy Spirit, deals with the Holy Spirit’s role in the Gospel, the Word of God, the spiritual gifts, the church, our spirit, and our circumstances. This is where the theology gets ultra practical and ultra heavy. In fact, while reading this section, I continued to say to myself that every seminary student should be required to read this book in their doctrines class when they are studying the doctrine of pneumatology. This section was as good as any theological book on the subject of the Holy Spirit as you will find.
The third and final part, seeking the Holy Spirit, deals with our role and response to dealing with the Holy Spirit in our lives. The summary of this section is the importance and the practical response of a believer in their relationship with the Holy Spirit living inside of them.
This was the best book that I have read on the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. In fact, I would highly recommend this book for personal use as well as theological use. I felt that this book was filled with heavy doctrine and an academic style of study. This book can benefit all Christians. Those Christians looking to go deeper in their personal relationship with Christ as well as new Christians.
J.D. Greear, Ph.D., (born May, 1973) did his degree work in Christian and Islamic theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC. He is Lead Pastor of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, NC. The Summit’s vision is to plant 1,000 churches in by the year 2040. Currently, they have planted 11 and have several church planting teams stationed around the world. J.D. has authored Breaking the Islam Code (published Feb 1, 2010, Harvest House) and GOSPEL: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary(published October 1, 2011, B&H). He lives in Raleigh, NC with his wife Veronica and his four kids, Kharis, Alethia, Ryah and Adon.
Note: I received this book free from the publisher through the Booklookbloggers.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive/negative review.