Starting a Spirited conversation.

10. Define personality as pertains to deity.

I first read that essay topic fifteen years ago. It was on the application I was completing as part of the process to be ordained. I had no idea what it meant.

I mean, I knew what all the words meant. But strung together in that way, I was completely lost.

I knew that must make sense in some context. There was some conversation that provided that context, but I had missed that part of the party. Or seminary.

Actually, I missed all of seminary. And Bible college. I studied rhetoric, and went through higher education planning to teach anything other than Bible and theology. I taught. I adminstrated. And then my journey slowly took me to being a pastor.  But when it came time for credentialing, I realized that there were conversations and ideas I didn’t know, even though I had studied words and sentences and meaning.

One day I was looking at one of Nancy’s books. She’s the one in our house who went to Bible college, who has the formal theology training. I was following up on some question, turned to chapter 2 or 3 and read something like, “The doctrine of personality as it relates to deity is about the Holy Spirit.”

And suddenly I knew where I stood. The question they were asking was, “Is the Holy Spirit a person or an impersonal force?” But of course, they couldn’t ask quite like that. It would be too obvious.

Too obvious for would-be pastors, at least. But that’s a real question for many people. Maybe you.

Next Sunday is Pentecost, the Sunday that celebrates the arrival of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the first followers of Jesus. So let’s talk a bit this week about the Holy Spirit.

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.

One thought on “Starting a Spirited conversation.

  1. We do not live in Star Wars. And though the Holy Spirit may exert force, the Spirit is the third person of the Trinity; not third thing, or third anything else – third person.

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