29.1.12

Enthusiastic about en theos and Tomlin on the Spirit


Literally 'En theos' is the English language equivalent of the Greek words which mean 'in God.'
Furthermore, the word Enthusiasm, arrives from the greek word enthusia, which by turn arrives from the word En theos. so when we say that we feel enthusiasm, it means that at that moment we feel like we have God inside us.

In Greek letters: En Theos= Εν Θεός, Enthusiasm=Ενθουσιασμός

Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_En_theos#ixzz1ksk3sy4m
wiki.answers.com
Furthermore, the word Enthusiasm, arrives from the greek word enthusia, which by turn arrives from the word En theos. so when we say that we feel enthusiasm, it means that at that moment we feel like we have God inside us.

Every now and then it is good to remind ourselves of the etymology of the words that we use. I particularly like the meaning of the word 'enthusiasm.'

I am currently continuing to enjoy Tomlin's essay from "The Holy Spirit in the World Today." He writes an essay entitled 'Life in the Spirit - Identity, vocation and life in the Spirit.' Tomlin seems full of enthusiasm to me, as though he has not forgotten his 'first love' (Jesus' call to the church in Revelation).

The book of Revelation particularly seemed to accompany me, in my thinking, as I went to India Indaba. Certain sentences resonated and I am still trying to unpick why. I will aim to do so with my spiritual director.

Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of the prophecy


I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying, ‘Write in a book what you see and send it to the seven churches...’


I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. 


Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.


Anyway, we all hear clarion calls from time to time and 'The Holy Spirit in the World Today' is one of those books that continues to ring out much like the book of Revelation as I continue a reading program through the bible. I did not study a module on this book of the bible at college but I am realising that those 'top up your theology' modules at my theological college could become very necessary.

I particularly love some of these reflections from Tomlin's essay about the Holy Spirit and our identity and vocation. 

'...the Holy Spirit unites us with Christ so that we can know the love of the Father for the Son, not just objectively acknowledged, but subjectively experienced by our being brought into Christ...the Spirit is seen as actively proceeding from the Father and the Son. This is a vibrant, active, alive Spirit who welcomes us into the act of divine hospitality that beats at the heart of the universe. This is clearly the sense meant by Calvin when he describes a similar idea: 'The Holy Spirit is the bond by which Christ effectually unites us to himself...he unites himself to us by the Spirit alone.' (Calvin, Institutes, III.I & III.3)

...we should never separate pneumatology from Christology...the Holy Spirit...is the Spirit if Christ [helping] us understand something of what Christians mean when they speak of the love of God. ...Experiences of the Holy Spirit are often spoken of in terms of 'power' or manifest themselves for example in dramatic experiences of healing... Perhaps divine healing should be seen as the result of being embraced in the Son by the Father in the power of the Spirit. 

Jonathan Edwards says that the mark of a genuine act of God is the turning of an impersonal knowledge about God into a deeply personal love for him. The believer finds an appetite for God, a 'certain divine spiritual taste' that did not exist before.' ...faith brings about an ability to see beauty in God, finding him desirable and pleasing, rather than distant or forbidding, or non-existent as he may have seemed before. Edwards knows that a true love for God cannot be generated by reason or moral effort: it can only arise through the work of the Spirit. 

...believers and unbelievers have notions of God, however only believers grasp the 'divine excellency,' and this is not just a different way of interpreting experience, but a completely new ability to perceive the divine glory, holiness or beauty...accessible... by the light of the Holy Spirit...the apprehension of an objective reality...Edwards' suggestion helps us define what we mean when we speak, perhaps rather loosely of 'experiences of the Spirit.'

...this gives the vital clue to the question of vocation. [It] ...means being involved in the work of God in Christ through the Spirit, of reconsiling the world to God (2 Cor 5:18-19)...through evangelism...through medical work and prayer for healing, through striving for the good of all people through legal and, perhaps even sometimes illegal ways. We also do it it through Spirit-inspired work that develops the potential of creation through art, technology, the ordering of the world of materials, economies and societies. 

3 comments:

Pluralist (Adrian Worsfold) said...

But in writing like this, you maintain a closed circle. Each part joins the other part, and forms a kind of circle of its own reasoning. No wonder Jonathan Edwards was a Calvinist. It's all sense if you are in the inner circle, but by its opposite there is no sense outside the circle. But matters like a 'divine spiritual taste' or 'vocation' are available outside the closed circle where reason can be open to the wider culture.

Rach said...

I suppose in some ways, therein lies the problem with revelation. The beginning of John's gospel captures this I guess in that the light came into the world but many could not see it.

In many ways it also becomes the vocation of those who witness to the light and live in it to share this with those who are not seeing it.

I am hoping all of this is not coming across badly. To give an analogy. The world of academic physics is quite closed to me, the circle is rather impenetrable because I have neither the brains, I feel or the time. The language is difficult. I do not see the world, the stars etc that way. It becomes the job of the academy to also put its discoveries into layman's terms so that I too can have my mind opened and see what they are seeing and are delighting in. Hoping you catch my drift.

Pluralist (Adrian Worsfold) said...

No, it doesn't work like that. Words like spirit, revelation, enthusiasm, even divine excellency are also available to other people, even people like me. But they remain open. The words of academic physics also remain open, in the sense that they are open to experiment and the outsider once the language is learnt. For example, if you close the circle, how do you do anything of interfaith appreciation? How is there any theology of culture? The whole Barth into postliberalism and all that is deliberately a closed circle, deliberately not of culture, outside of any human religious constructions. So there is a non-meeting between this presentation and what you say is a shift in your experience of wanting rethinking.

It is not dissimilar from having a highly personal charismatic feeling that clearly transmits your subjective religious beliefs outwards and that being at odds with some of the anti-individualist postliberal approach. But at least both languages seem to have something in common, in that the personal feeling into words matches the words of the collective textual outlook.

But if you want to reach out, or something is reaching in, that is outside the circle, then keeping the circle tight won't work.

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