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The Age of the Spirit: How the Ghost of an Ancient Controversy Is Shaping the Church

Baker Books / 2014 / Hardcover

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A thousand years ago, the church experienced a time of tremendous upheaval called the Great Schism. The one faith became two churches, East and West, and the course of world history was forever changed. And it all swirled around one Latin word in the Nicene Creed, filioque, that indicated the Holy Spirit proceeded both from God the Father "and from the Son." From the time that phrase was officially instituted onward, the Holy Spirit's place in the Trinity and role in the lives of believers would be fiercely debated, with ramifications being felt through the centuries to this very day.

In this fascinating book, readers will encounter not just the interesting historical realities that have shaped our faith today but also the present resurgence of interest in the Holy Spirit seen in many churches across the theological spectrum. Christianity is growing by leaps and bounds in places where it has never made deep inroads before. Pentecostalism, with its emphasis on the Spirit and spontaneity, is the predominant force. Tickle and Sweeney make accessible and relevant the forces behind the current upheaval in the church, taking readers by the hand and leading them confidently into the Age of the Spirit.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 192
Vendor: Baker Books
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0801014808
ISBN-13: 9780801014802
Availability: In Stock

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Author Bio

Phyllis Tickle, founding editor of the religion department at Publishers Weekly, is the author of more than two dozen books on the subject, including The Great Emergence. She is frequently quoted and interviewed in such media outlets as the New York Times, USA Today, Newsweek, Time, CNN, C-SPAN, and PBS. A lector and lay eucharistic minister in the Episcopal Church, she holds the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from both Berkeley School of Divinity at Yale University and from North Park University. She makes her home on a small farm in Tennessee. For more information, go to www.phyllistickle.com or www.thegreatemergence.com.

Jon M. Sweeney
is the author of several books, including the remarkably timely The Pope Who Quit. He is well-known for his ability to take complicated religious history and make it accessible and fascinating to non-scholars. He is the editor-in-chief of Paraclete Press and lives in Illinois with his family.

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  1. Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Explore historical decisions about Holy Spirit
    January 14, 2014
    bookwomanjoan
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Tickle writes that there are two major reasons for us to understand the Holy Spirit - well, at least understand as much as we can. First, early Islam had roots, in part, in the furor over the Trinity and what it is. Second, the fastest growing segment of Christianity is Pentecostalism with its emphasis on the Holy Spirit.

    It is important, she argues, for us to know how we Christians have envisioned, engaged, and too often tried to engineer the Holy Spirit over the millennia. She reviews history, what people have written, decisions councils have made, etc. She explores particular topics, such as modalism.

    Hers is a very readable overview of the subject. She understands that the reality of the Holy Spirit makes us uneasy. He is a mystery that unnerves us - that has been the case for centuries.

    She writes, "...the most profound change theologically and conceptually in Christianity in our era has been and is the shift toward emphasis on God, the Holy Spirit." (147) Considering Pentecostal and Charismatic Christians, about one quarter of all Christians today emphasize the Holy Spirit. This is the Age of the Spirit, Tickle says. She helps us struggle with the questions of Who the Holy Spirit is and how we live and worship in this era.

    This is not an academic work. This is a very readable exploration of the Holy Spirit and how He has been understood and experienced. If you feel you have ignored the person of the Holy Spirit in your Christian life, this would be a good book to introduce you to writings about Him. If you want, there are plenty of footnotes and Appendixes for further study.

    I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
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