A Theology of the Holy Spirit (The Forgotten God)

Many Christians want an experience with the Holy Spirit, but what most do not want a theology of the Holy Spirit. I was quite pleased to see Francis Chan wade into this very turbulent stream. A theology of the Holy Spirit offers a “focus on some practical truths about who the Spirit is and what He does in our lives.”[1] In other words, anything you say about the Holy Spirit is part of your “theology” of the Holy Spirit. Chan makes several clear statements, supported with Scripture, concerning the Holy Spirit.

“The Holy Spirit is a Person.”[2]

“The Holy Spirit is God.”[3]

“The Holy Spirit is eternal and holy.”[4]

“The Holy Spirit has his own mind, and he prays for us.”[5]

“Fifth, the Spirit has emotions.”[6]

“The Holy Spirit has His own desires and will.”[7]

“The Holy Spirit is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient.”[8]

I suspect that this is not the most romantic thing you have ever read, and that is sad, because theology is the Christians language of love. The listing above should strike the Christian in the same way a lover enjoys hearing their loved one described. “She is tall and beautiful with a wonderful personality. She is brilliant and kind. She carries herself with dignity.” To the lover, these are sweet words.

Are you a lover of the Holy Spirit? If so, a theology of the Holy Spirit should make your heart race.

To be clear, “we will never fully grasp” God’s full nature.[9] We are finite beings pondering the infinite. We babble from our earthly crib. In awe, we gaze heavenward whispering what comes most easily, “Daddy.”[10] We are lovers reading of our beloved and straining to express what we can hardly conceive.

But lovers do not expect to exhaust the mystery of love simply because they write a song or sonnet. Love, by its very nature, demands not only expression but also humility. With God, we call this worship, and the language of worship is the theology of the Church. The language of love is, for the Christian, the theology through which we express our limited understanding of God in words and phrases that speak of who He is. So I pray to the Holy Spirit who is eternal and holy God, and my heart leaps.

[1] Pg. 70.

[2] Ibid. See John 14:17, Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14

[3] Ibid. See Acts 5:3-4.

[4] Ibid. See John 14:16, 9:14; Romans 1:4, 5:5.

[5] Pg. 71. See Romans 8:27.

[6] Pg. 72. See Isaiah 63:10; Ephesians 4:30.

[7] Pg. 73. See 1 Corinthians 12:11.

[8] Ibid. See Zechariah 4:6; Psalm 139:7-8; 1 Corinthians 2:10.

[9] Pg. 74.

[10] Romans 8:15, Galatians 4:6


  1. Thanks Terry. Chan’s book is aptly title is it not? Forgotten!

  2. Excellent, Hudson! And you are so right; the Holy Spirit is hardly ever talked about and yet, is part of the Trinity! Thanks for illuminating and doing the biblical research of who & what is the Holy Spirit.

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