How do you see the Holy Spirit at work in the world today? In part five of this series, we feature the dynamic answers of Ben Witherington III, Al Gordon, Stuart Townend, Thomas Oord, and Amy Oden.
“On where do I see the Holy Spirit working, I would say in the Middle East. Muslims are having vivid dreams of Issah, Jesus, even Muslims who’ve never read a Bible or had real contact with Christians. The Spirit is up to something, undercover, behind the scenes, imperceptibly, but nonetheless definitely.”
“Here in the UK and in other parts of the world where we are working, I see the Holy Spirit searching for servants more than stars these days. He is developing cultures of humility rather than celebrity. It’s in those places I see God most pouring out his Spirit in profound and powerful ways.”
Stuart Townend – Worship leader and songwriter of such songs as In Christ Alone, How Deep the Father’s Love, The Power of the Cross, and Beautiful Savior.
“I think the Holy Spirit is at work in all kinds of ways in the world today, most of them we are probably not conscious of, or at least we don’t give Him the credit for them! The Bible says that all good things come from God, so an act of kindness that happens anywhere in the world can be attributed to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
I see Him at work particularly in the UK in the growing spiritual hunger expressed by ordinary men and women. They may be wary of (or even antagonistic towards) organized religion, but they long for a deeper reality that materialism, consumerism and secular rationalism doesn’t provide. The problem is that the church struggles to step outside its religious practices and ingrained stereotypical opinions to meet them where they are at – and yet if we managed to do that, I believe we would see a great Holy Spirit-inspired harvest.
The church has enjoyed the blessing of the Holy Spirit in many extraordinary ways over the last fifty years, but I believe the time has come for that blessing to fall in contexts where the church is active in the world, not merely inside the four walls of its buildings.”
“The ways are too numerous to be counted! But I’m excited about the ways the Spirit is helping us awaken to the importance of affirming science, diversity, inclusivity and relationships. I’m excited to see the Spirit helping us reach across once wide chasms to establish cooperation between groups once thought unbridgeable. I’m excited by the way the Spirit is calling Christians from all corners of the globe to love more deeply with their minds. And I’m excited by the way the Spirit is inspiring insights for using technology in ways that expand the Kingdom in response to God’s leading.”
Amy G. Oden – Dean and Professor of History of Christianity at Wesley Theological Seminary and author of books such as God’s Welcome: Hospitality For a Gospel Hungry World.
“The Holy Spirit moves afresh in so many places! Here at Wesley, there is much renewed interest in intentional community. I see experiments in common life that show an eagerness to move away from the narrow individualism of much American Christianity. Instead, folks want the daily rhythms and practices of communal formation. This usually means submitting one’s life to the way the Holy Spirit calls, shapes and challenges us through community—both ancient and new as a counter-cultural practice.”