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date: 14 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The history of Presbyterianism is more but not less than a history of the interpretation of the work of the Holy Spirit. It is a history of actions and reactions, movements and countermovements in response to the work (or presumed work) of the Holy Spirit, or, more specifically, a history of efforts to redress perceived excesses and or deficiencies in its own teachings and in the teachings of others on the Holy Spirit. That the Holy Spirit has played a prominent role in Presbyterian history is not surprising. John Calvin not only systematically expounded the work of the Holy Spirit but also emphasized it as much if not more than any theologian before him, leading Benjamin B. Warfield to call him “pre-eminently the theologian of the Holy Spirit.” This chapter traces developments of Presbyterian pneumatology from the sixteenth century to the twentieth century, highlighting conflicts over the Spirit’s role as a seed of spiritual birth and renewal, source of moral development and social reform and personal and communal empowerment, and force for social and political change.

Keywords: Jesus Christ, experience, faith, gifts, grace, Holy Spirit, inspiration, mind, reason, spiritual

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