Wells, David F. God the Evangelist: How the Holy Spirit Works to Bring Men and Women to Faith. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1987.

"Success is the sacrament of a secular age. Its outward and visible signs are affluence, prestige, power, the ascent of the corporate ladder, the wider influence, the bigger church, the biggest audience. Its inward and invisible grace is its sense of having arrived, of being somebody . . . who is known, who has power. Somebody to be reckoned with.

This motivation in the search for God's power is especially noticeable in societies where succeeding is important; in contrast, the search for God's power in the Bible is inseparable from suffering, humiliation, and the loss of those things that give us standing in the world. It is not for nothing that Jesus spoke of the disciple's cross, of losing limbs and eyes, of the hostility of the world . . . .

[In these pages] we have encountered the Holy Spirit in his three major functions: he exhibits the truth, he engenders holiness, and he exercises divine power. These functions are also characteristics, for what he does expresses who he is. And the simple point that has to be rediscovered and should never have been lost is that the Spirit's power comes only in conjunction with his work of truth and holiness. Our obsession with his power is really an obsession with results. At its basest level, it is an admission that we will solicit converts on almost any terms and that gospel preaching can legitimately be carried on by almost anyone, regardless of how he or she lives. In thus seeking naked results we are dividing the Spirit's work of power from his work of truth (with respect to the convert) and of holiness (with respect to the evangelist). We are dividing what cannot be divided."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i should probably read every book you quote from or recommend. amazing.