The Coherence Of Word And Spirit

A problem exists in the modern church, plagued by modernity, in her inability to see the coinherence of the word and Spirit. Pietism seeks a separation of the two, but Romanism prioritizes the office over the Spirit. If the institution and office has authority in se, then the Romanist position has been implicitly adopted, at least the position in the time of Owen. The “prince of the Puritans” offers a third way which is exegetically plausible and biblical. Owen is correct in his Pneumatological assertion that the Spirit must be with the office and logically prior to it. If this priority is not tenaciously held to in our ecclesiology, Christ’s giving the gifts of ministry by the Spirit will be manipulated by ministers/bishops who may lord their role over men. For Owen this crime attacks the essence of the new covenant church which has been founded upon the objective freedom won for her by Christ and poured out into her by the Spirit.

—Timothy, “If the Holy Spirit Cannot Be Absent, He Will Not Be Present

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