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African Journals Online

African Christianity and the Holy Spirit

Oct. 25, 2013

by Joel Elowsky

African Christianity has always had an affinity with the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. African Church Fathers such as Tertullian and Origen worked out a theology of the Holy Spirit when few others were thinking in those terms. Augustine's understanding of the Spirit as vinculum caritatis (bond of love) in the Trinity influenced generations of theologians who came after.

We recently came across a journal article by A. van de Beek, a professor emeritus at Stollenbosch Unversity in South Africa. The article is entitled:"The Spirit of the Body of Christ: The Holy Spirit's Indwelling in the Church." In this article van de Beek explores the Biblical and Patristic witness to the Holy Spirit in the life of the church. As the abstract states:

"Contrary to present-day tendencies in theology, the author argues that the church is the exclusive place of the work of the Holy Spirit, with reference to early church fathers such as Cyprian and Augustine, and to the New Testament. The Spirit is the presence of Christ who indwells his body. Therefore, the concept of social Trinity is rejected. As the Spirit of the Crucified, the Spirit displays the same strength in weakness: a pneumatologia crucis is the consequence of a christologia crucis as aspects of a theologia crucis. Specific attention is paid to I Corinthians."

We commend the article to your reading. You can find it using this link.