"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
mattress,/
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).


Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Impossibly Prolific Matthew Levering on the Holy Spirit

That horrible, no-good book-writing devil Matthew Levering (whom I am privileged to call a friend!) has another book out. Can you believe it? I think he's in some mad competition to write 50 books before he turns 50 or something. Or perhaps Pope Frank has ginned up some new enchiridion of indulgences, and for every book Levering publishes 294,000 of his closest family members get out of Purgatory? At the very least, he needs to s  l  o  w   d o w n  because he's making the rest of us look bad.

Set for release in the middle of July is Engaging the Doctrine of the Holy Spirit: Love and Gift in the Trinity and the Church (Baker Academic, 2016), 448pp.

Here is the publisher's official blurb:
Distinguished theologian Matthew Levering offers a historical examination of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, defending an Augustinian model against various contemporary theological views. A companion piece to Levering's Engaging the Doctrine of Revelation, this work critically engages contemporary and classical doctrines of the Holy Spirit in dialogue with Orthodox and Reformed interlocutors. Levering makes a strong dogmatic case for conceiving of the Holy Spirit as love between Father and Son, given to the people of God as a gift.
In perusing this book, I see that, true to form, it will represent an engagement with the best of scholarship, contemporary and ancient, Catholic and Orthodox. Not only does his third chapter cover that old bugaboo of East-West relations, the filioque, but his sixth chapter deals with the Spirit and the unity of the Church. Along the way, there is wide and generous engagement with such Orthodox theologians as Vladimir Lossky, John Zizioulas, David Bentley Hart, Boris Bobrinskoy, Gregory Palamas, Sergius Bulgakov, and others.

There are few Roman Catholic theologians today of whom I would unhesitatingly say "When he speaks, listen." But Levering is certainly one of those, not because of his own ideas but precisely because, and to the extent that, he is a man of the Church immersed in her tradition out of which he, good householder that he is, brings to offer the world gifts both old and new (cf. Matt. 13:52).

1 comment:

  1. I am still working through his book "Proofs of God". Slow down, Dr. Levering, slow down!

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