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Giver of Life: The Holy Spirit in Orthodox Tradition by John Oliver

By John Oliver

Presents the Orthodox standpoint on who the Holy Spirit is, the place the secret of God comes alive.


Delving deep and subtly into Orthodox culture and theology, Giver of Life articulates the identification of the Holy Spirit because the 3rd individual of the Trinity in addition to the function of the Holy Spirit within the salvation of the realm. Written with a poetic sensibility, Fr. Oliver starts off with Pentecost, an occasion uniquely celebrated in Orthodoxy as a time while greenery of every kind is introduced into church buildings. “The splash of eco-friendly foliage calls to brain not only existence, yet a distinct form of lifestyles. it's the lifestyles that transcends organic lifestyles and flows from the very Godhead Itself; it is lifestyles that’s a country of being—immortal, eternal, changeless. Ferns and plants fade and die, yet souls filled with this ‘life from above’ flourish forever.”

Reflecting at the dating of the Holy Spirit to the Church, to the area, and to the human individual, Giver of Life seems to the remarkable biblical and liturgical culture of Orthodox  Christianity. it is a ebook weighty in content material yet available in tone, no longer an instructional examine of the brain, yet a lived adventure of the heart.

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It does not tell us who or what that Creator is, its nature or character, or why creation was made. For that, we turn to the “Spirit of truth,” who reveals the Logos of creation to be the Lord over creation. ” As a person acquires the Holy Spirit the faculties of perception are cleansed, and he or she feels the Spirit within drawing toward the holy Logos, just as “deep calls to deep” (Ps. 40:7). Crafted under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Nicene Creed calls upon God as Father and upon Jesus as Lord.

We might thumb through our pocket New Testaments, for example, without appreciating (or even realizing) how many years were spent and how much sweat was spilled over the complex matter of the New Testament’s formation. The doctrine of the Holy Trinity—sprouting in the Old Testament, blooming in the New—was the subject of vigorous discussion in the early centuries of the Church. No one was disputing the titles of “Father” and “Son” and “Holy Spirit,” since the Scriptures frequently mention each.

Since both the truths of God and the souls of men were at stake, he believed, Saint Basil argued for the divinity of the Holy Spirit but avoided using the controversial language that might further isolate his opponents from the Church. Nowhere in On the Holy Spirit does Saint Basil write that “the Holy Spirit is God”—a detail that On the Holy Spirit shares with Holy Scripture itself, which may explain some of Saint Basil’s reticence. Yet the book assembles an enormous record of references to the divinity of the Holy Spirit from the biblical, baptismal, and liturgical tradition of the Church.

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