A Theology of the Holy Spirit by Frederick Dale Bruner (Hodder & Stoughton £2.75).
T1-115 finely produced and 1excellently printed work is sub-titled The Pentecostal Experience and the New Testament Witness. In the Course of the first pages the argument is developed that, following upon a period in the early twentieth century when attention was concentrated upon the doctrine of the Fatherhood of God, there was a middle period in this century in which the person of Christ was given the central place, and, although the last third of the century has yet to be theologically characterised. "there are voices and movements urging the Church to see in the person and work of the Holy Spirit the proper focus for the new age." Professor Bruner in his preface tells us that he has sought. in the first place, to understand the meaning of the Pentecostal movement and its experience of the Spirit. and to this end he has attended Pentecostal and Neo-Pentecostal meetings of all kinds, has talked with leaders and members of the movement. and has familiarised himself with the literature. He has also asked himself the question: "Should I have the Pentecostal experience?"
Should he be content with a head knowledge of the movement, or should he seek to have a heart knowledge of the Pentecostal gift, as it was first known by the apostles and is now known by Pentecostals themselves?
Perhaps the most important of the earlier chapters is found in chapter three of Part I, this being entitled: 'The Baptism in the Holy Spirit in the Pentecostal Movement." For many readers the most interesting section of the book may well be the appendix to Chapter 3, entitled "Representative Experiences of the Pentecostal Baptism in the Holy Spirit," which presents a number Of case-histories of those who have received the Holy Spirit, first place being rightly given to the witness of Miss Agnes Ozman (in 1901) who, after hands had been laid upon her, "began to speak in tongues glorifying God, talked several languages. and it was clearly manifest when a new dialect was spoken." She experienced a depth of the presence of the Lord. which she had never known before.
According to an estimate made in 1957, there are large groups of adherents in the United States (3 millions), Brazil (2 millions), Indonesia (1 million), Chile (nearly 1 million), and South Africa (half a million) (cf. p.25). "Numerically, at the very least. the young Pentecostal movement has plowed a broad furrow into the first two-thirds of the twentieth century, and reaped success."
Mgr. John M. T. Barton