God, Gift, and Guide: Knowing the Holy Spirit – Gregg R. Allison

God, Gift, and Guide: Knowing the Holy Spirit by Gregg R. Allison
Published by B&H Publishing on June 6, 2023
Genres: Non-Fiction, Christian Life, Theology
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So often, the Third Person of the Trinity gets the least attention. He is considered confusing or mysterious.

Dr. Gregg Allison has spent his life devoted to studying and teaching theology, and this concise and practical book approaches the truth given to us in God's Word about the Holy Spirit with curiosity and wisdom.

For the everyday believer wanting to know God better, this book will broaden the reader's awareness of the Person and work of the Holy Spirit—God, Gift, and Guide. The Spirit is the best gift we are given after our salvation, the One who dwells within those who love Him.

This book is an invitation to live with an awareness of His presence in our everyday lives.

In this very accessible book, Gregg R. Allison shares insights about the Holy Spirit, helping Christians better understand this member of the Trinity and the Spirit’s work in their lives. Allison begins by writing about why the Spirit is an important part of the Christian life, and he unpacks key theological ideas about the Trinity. After this, he focuses on different points of doctrine and application, such as the Holy Spirit’s work in salvation, conviction, illumination and intercession, and in the church. Allison is very thorough and covers a wide variety of topics, showing how integral the Holy Spirit is to every element of the Christian life. He also includes reflection questions that readers can consider alone or with a church group.

All throughout God, Gift, and Guide, Allison uses Scripture to illustrate and support different points, helping his readers understand what the Bible teaches about the Spirit. I wish that some chapters had further unpacked controversies about issues like whether or not the Holy Spirit speaks to believers today, but Allison always summarizes people’s differing opinions in fair and even-handed ways, correctly representing how people explain their different beliefs and support them with Scripture. That makes the book appropriate for people from many different denominational backgrounds.

Towards the end, Allison writes about spiritual gifts and the debated gifts, and he summarizes different positions on things like prophecy and speaking in tongues. My one critique about this section is that when he warns against an overemphasis on gifting that makes someone feel entitled to only serve in their preferred way, he says that churches need “able-bodied” workers for all kinds of ministries. I’m sure he really meant ‘capable and willing,’ but the unfortunate phrasing forgets how disabled people can and do serve their churches in many different ways, at many different levels of ministry.

God, Gift, and Guide: Knowing the Holy Spirit is a great book for Christians who are new to learning about the Holy Spirit, or who want to further refine their knowledge. Because this book covers so many topics, the chapters are fairly basic and don’t get into esoteric theological debates, making this perfect for believers who want to learn more without doing an academic deep dive. Allison’s personal touches through stories from his own life will also help engage readers who wouldn’t normally read a theological work, and this book is a very helpful introduction or refresher.