Page 23 - EMCAPP-Journal No. 11
P. 23

Eric L. Johnson (USA)
             Comment to                                          Eric L. Johnson

             “That which comes from                              Ph.D. is Lawrence
             the Lord who is the Spirit”                         Hoover  Professor
                                                                 of  Pastoral  Care
                                                                 at  The  Southern
                                                                 Baptist  Theologi-
             What  a  treat  to  read  E.  Janet  Warren’s  wide-  cal  Seminary.  He
             ranging reflections on the role of the Spirit in    edited Psychology
             a Christian psychology! One senses a thought-       and  Christianity:
             ful Christian who is open to diverse sources of     Five Views and wrote Foundations for Soul
             knowledge, Christian practices and traditions,      Care: A Christian Psychology Proposal and
             and academic disciplines; one who is receptive      God  and  Soul  Care:  The  Therapeutic  Re-
             to the Spirit in all his manifold manifestations. I   sources of the Christian Faith. He’s married
             suspect she is a good counselor!                    to Rebekah, who keeps him grounded.

             The article reminded me that God the Spirit is      Former articles by Eric you can see here:
             the ultimate, immediate source of all the good
             that  we  enjoy  as  humans  and  as  Christians:
             the  good  that  comes  to  us  through  intuition
             and  visions,  imagination  and  creativity,  from
             dialogue with others, as well as the good that
             comes  through  careful,  logical  reflection  and
             experimental, quantitative research. I was also
             reminded that the infinite Spirit is not bound to
             communicate with us in just one way. Perhaps       over-medication, and continued oppression of
             to walk in the Spirit means, at least in part, to   the poor in non-Western countries.
             be open to the Spirit: to be curious and que-
             stioning;  to  be  open-minded,  without  being    At  the  same  time,  though  Warren  acknow-
             gullible; to be on the look out for God’s truth,   ledged the value of rationality, there seemed to
             goodness, and beauty all around us, from wha-      be at least the implication that the Spirit might
             tever source; and to be free of the anxiety that   communicate with us more through the “sof-
             needs to control and mater and already “know-      ter” forms of knowing like intuition, imaginati-
             it-all.” So, perhaps spiritual discernment entails   on, and emotion. But is that so?
             being open.
                                                                The Spirit is the source of all forms of know-
             Christians  need  to  challenge  the  Western  re-  ledge and uses all sources of knowledge. Consi-
             liance (including some sectors of Western Chri-    der the Bible, which God breathed out through
             stianity!)  on  exclusively  logical-mathematical   the Spirit (2Tim 3:16; Heb 9:8). It is an essen-
             and linguistic forms of knowledge, since such      tially linguistic expression of God (though of
             reliance  constitutes  a  kind  of  idolatry  due  to   course it is permeated with emotion and ima-
             their ability to give humans a sense of greater    gination!). The book of Proverbs utilizes com-
             control and confidence in their deliverances, in   mon sense, everyday observation, and rational
             contrast  to  the  more  ambiguous  and  obscure   reflection. Luke said his gospel was based on the
             kinds of knowing that one obtains through in-      compiling of an orderly account of the events
             tuition, imagination, bodily knowing, and emo-     of Jesus’ life. Moreover, the Spirit is the source
             tion. Limiting ourselves to logical and linguistic   of rational skills. God said he filled Bezalel with
             forms of knowing has led to environmental cri-     “the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence,
             ses, animal mistreatment, abortion-on-demand,      with knowledge and all craftsmanship, to de-

   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28