The Spirit of God for the People of God

| March 18, 2016

As someone who’s been doing research on the Trinity almost exclusively for a year, I was refreshed when I saw Covenant, Community, and the Spirit: A Trinitarian Theology of Church released. First, there’s a dearth of work on the Trinity that pointedly ties in ecclesiology. Many books dabble, perhaps in a concluding paragraph of a chapter on the Holy Spirit, but make no real attempt.

Second, Robert Sherman is a formidable Trinitarian scholar. His King, Priest, and Prophet, a Trinitarian theology of the atonement with special focus on the role of the Son, is a helpful addition to the field. The immediate potential, then, for Covenant, Community, and the Spirit was rather high. And it mostly held up under the weight of expectation.

Hope-Infused Future

In his introduction, Sherman makes clear he’s hopeful about the future of the church, even with so many people proclaiming the coming of a post-Christian age. Sherman—former professor of theology at Bangor Theological Seminary in Bangor, Maine—isn’t so worried about denominational decline as he is ecclesial decline. As he puts it, “Christianity can survive a postdenominational age, but it cannot survive a postecclesial age” (xvi). That’s where this book comes in. Sherman wants “to help faithful Christians recognize and…

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