Pentecost (book review)

PentecostI grew up with this stuff: I’m a fourth-generation Pentecostal, so I cut my teeth on this distinctive doctrine. But I was still amazed at the depth of insight into this dynamic theology that Dr. Robert Menzies shares in Pentecost: This Story Is Our Story.

Although Dr. Menzies shares a number of anecdotal stories to help illustrate certain points, this book is really a serious doctrinal work. Many people have written-off the operational gifts of the Holy Spirit seen in the book of Acts as something that ceased at the death of the apostles, or at the closing of the cannon of Scripture. But Dr. Menzies points out from the outset that Luke’s writings in the Gospel that bears his name and in the book of Acts are not just historical, but doctrinal too.

Many times people look at Paul’s writings as doctrinal, and the four Gospels and Acts as simply historical; thus giving more “weight” to the Pauline epistles. Dr. Menzies persuasively shows that Luke’s writing in Luke-Acts is just as doctrinal, and just as Holy Spirit-inspired, as every other book of the New Testament. In fact, he really goes beyond that to show how Luke’s writing is heavily influenced by Old Testament prophesies about the coming of the Messiah and the subsequent outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

This is not a sensational book, but a scholarly work. It is extensively referenced, as evidenced by the ample endnotes. But don’t let this scare you off as a book just for pastors and theologians, as Dr. Menzies’ writing style is very readable by all.

Anyone who is interested in this distinctive doctrine of the Holy Spirit should read Pentecost.

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