Reflections on Amos Yong’s book, Spirit of Love: A Trinitarian Theology of Grace

A year ago, the Holy Spirit birthed in me this song and melody, which I titled, “The love of God is overflowing.”

The love of God— is overflowing;

It reaches to— the deepest sea.

 

The love of God— is overflowing;

It rises up— for you and me.

 

The love of God— is overflowing;

Like a fount— that’s pure and free.

 

The love of God— is overflowing;

It’s flowing down— for you and me.

8 January 2012

 

I continue my meditations on empowering love of God.  Hence, I just finished and emailed off to the AG Encounter: Journal for Pentecostal Ministry, my critical book review on Amos Yong’s Spirit of Love: A Trinitarian Theology of Grace (Baylor University Press, 2012).  This closes several months of periodic reading and meditating through Yong’s “missionary and evangelistic manifesto,” which he calls a “pentecostal and pneumatological soteriology” (a term referring to “salvation”) or more simply— a “soteriology of love.” 

 

Yong’s thesis is that “pentecostal understandings of the Spirit of God can shed new light on God as love and loving, and on what it means for creation as a whole and for human beings in particular to receive the love of God.”  Hence, Christian salvation is about God gracing human life and creation through the Spirit of love.

 

A running definition of “love” running through Yong’s book comprises both receving and giving love.”  Receiving God’s love empowers us, and moreover, transforms us to love.  Yong thus argues that the biblical narrative of God’s salvation points to the Holy Spirit as the source and cause of altruistic behaviour, and that God’s mission aims towards the transforming of humans into loving people, and this shapes the mission of the Church.

 

Yong’s book may, if Pentecostals and believers of other traditions so desire, help shape their theological, liturgical, and congregational language, symbols and themes in manners congruent to the early Pentecostal genius of perceiving and encountering the power of the Spirit as nothing less than the power of God’s redeeming, sanctifying and empowering love.

 http://www.amazon.com/Spirit-Love-Trinitarian-Theology-ebook/dp/B008LYE49U

 

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