Spirit Baptism and the Intensity of the Spirit

I just had an article published entitled, The Intensity of the Spirit in a Spirit-Filled World: Spirit Baptism, Subsequence, and the Spirit of Creation.”

Thanks to Brill’s (a publisher) generous author agreements, I am able to post my article here for those interested.

Summary: North American Classical Pentecostals have frequently described Spirit baptism as an experience that usually occurs subsequent to the reception of the Spirit at the point of conversion. When placed within a wider context of understanding the various ways in which the Spirit is present, it becomes apparent that this Pentecostal understanding of subsequence is only one instance of a subsequential experience of Spirit-filling. Given that we live in a Spirit-filled world, subsequent experiences of Spirit-filling can be seen in all believers, in the life of Jesus Christ, and in the life of the church. All of these experiences of being filled by the Spirit (and Spirit baptism in particular) may be expressed with the metaphor of the intensity of the Spirit.

Keywords: Spirit baptism, subsequence, filled with the Spirit, intensity, creation, church, Christ

My article is published in Pneuma 34.3 (2012): 365-382 (I am required to include a link to their web page here).

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6 thoughts on “Spirit Baptism and the Intensity of the Spirit

  1. Thanks for posting this here Andrew. I am certainly appreciative of your approach. I do wonder if more could have been made of the Christological “intensification” by mention of the “Spirit” overshadowing Mary that she might conceive Jesus as “Immanuel”?

  2. Excellent contribution, Andrew! I found your approach very helpful and the notion of ‘intensification’ resonates with how I’ve been thinking about the Spirit’s work (actually, I was thinking of the same word, but not so much as applied to Spirit Baptism . . . I was thinking of intensification more along the lines of explaining the miraculous and the charismatic without appeal to a kind of ‘god of the gaps’ that disrupts natural processes and violates natural laws. In the intensification view, the Spirit is the one who undergirds and supports all life and natural laws . . . thus the ‘miraculous’ doesn’t so much break through nature as much as intensify the Spirit’s presence and power, which already pervades and upholds this ‘open system’). BTW – I shared your article with my theology class yesterday, as we were talking about Spirit Baptism. Blessings!

    • That sounds like a fruitful approach. While some emphasize that miracles are the Spirit’s inbreaking from the future (i.e. making the present future now), there has to be some sort of continuity between the past work of the Spirit (esp. in life-giving), the present work (in the inaugurated kingdom), and the future work of the Spirit (through our future resurrection and the consummation of the kingdom)–it is after all the same Spirit at work in all these things!