Word and spirit in doctrinal formation
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Holy Spirit--Biblical teaching.
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This dissertation examines current models in evangelical theological method regarding the relationship the Holy Spirit has with the written biblical text and the reader as it pertains to interpretation and, in particular, doctrinal formation. Chapter 1 introduces the need for this project as well as detailing the components necessary for understanding the author's proposal, namely, that the Holy Spirit maintains an indirect relationship with the Scriptures in relationship to the reader's task of formulating doctrine. Chapter 2 introduces four general models of Word and Spirit relationship. The four models, namely, those who envision the Spirit operating "above" the text; those who envision the Spirit operating "beyond" the text; those who envision the Spirit operating "through" the text; and those who envision the Spirit operating "in" the text, are evaluated as to how they understand the nature of Scripture, truth/truth claims, and how the Spirit relates to the text as the reader attempts to interpret. Chapter 3 furthers the evaluation of these groups concluding that only the fourth group, the Word and Spirit relationship "in" the text provides the perspectives necessary to preserve the integrity of truth, the communicative character of the written text, and a correspondence to the biblical record about the Word and Spirit. Further, chapter 3 details the author's proposal, demonstrating from the perspectives of the fourth group how the Word and Spirit relationship functions indirectly regarding doctrinal formation. Chapters 4 and 5 examine the biblical witness regarding the author's proposal. Chapter 4 investigates the theology of and certain passages from the Old Testament, while chapter 5 examines the theology and texts of the New Testament. Chapter 6 summarizes the work. In so doing, the four groups are summarized, three anticipated objections are raised and answered, and several benefits for adopting the "indirect" perspective are listed.