What Surprised Me About PATMOS

One expects certain things from a Baxter Kruger book, such as really good theology, stories about fish, the phrase “truth of all truths,” and references to Cajun cooking. In this, PATMOS delivers as expected.  Add to that some SHACK-like trini-magical realism, and the result is an edifying and enjoyable book full of Baxter’s familiar blend of God-talk and fart jokes.

What I didn’t expect was the Holy Spirit.

In PATMOS I found a Baxter Kruger book packed with pneumatology.  For years I’ve heard him mention that he’s been doing some thinking on the Holy Spirit, but I never heard him say much more than that.  Well now we can definitely say his thinking here has arrived at where it’s been going all these years.

This is welcome news for me, because I’ve had like a couple dozen pneumatologies through the years, and I’m tired of being so flaky about it. relationshipwithinnerpentecostal

Baxter has a knack for casting his line to people like me who live in theologically flaky clouds, and reeling us in to land us on something solid, something like Rock. He’s done this to me a couple times now, and this could be Number Three.

As I now flop about, gasping, on this new ground, what I see is a sort of Krugerian thumbs-up to my Inner Pentecostal.  That part of me who thinks I may have 1). Heard God talk to me a few times, 2). Healed a friend’s damaged kneecap, and 3). Spoke in tongues once.  I’m hearing from Baxter that maybe that part of me is theologically legitimate, that this part of me fits in the real world of the Triune God.

That said, I’m not certain I agree with Baxter here. I’ve grown a lot less Pentecostal in recent years, and that has its benefits.  For example, I spend a lot less time worrying about being crazy.  But Kruger has steered me in good directions before, so I plan to give him a big fat benefit of the doubt.

There is such a thing as infantile greedy swindling Pentecostalism with big hair and small brains.  I’m not going back to that.

But what I see in PATMOS is not that.  I see the Apostle John live in easy rhythm with the Holy Spirit as his constant, real, practical connection to the Incarnate Son in face-to-face union with the Father.  And it wasn’t smarmy or weird.  It was kind of cool.

So yeah, I’m not done thinking about this.  Give PATMOS a read, and tell me what you think.

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Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from SpeakEasy in exchange for an honest review.

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