WHY I LIKE THE SHACK REVISITED, REASON #4: THE HOLY SPIRIT IS A REAL PERSON…NOT JUST A POWER.
I was reading an article posted on the web called “God is a Family.” This post said God was comprised of two persons: Son and Father. Therefore, God was a family. It went on to say that the Holy Spirit is not a person, but rather the ‘power’ of God, working within the family (of father and son). I was flabbergasted. Since when did we decide that family consists of two men? Did we forget that you can’t get a “son” without a “mother”? Are we finally at our lowest point in dishonoring women: women need not apply–especially in the family of God? Or, are we just so mixed up when it comes to who the Holy Spirit is, that we’re starting to deny that a true person even exists at all? Anyways, I’ll try not to get too worked up over this one article. After all, I’m really just too excited about Baxter Kruger’s book.
In his book The Shack Revisited: There is More Going on Here than You Ever Dared to Dream (trust me, that title delivers), Baxter Kruger (GO HERE FOR HIS BIO) tells us in Chapter 8 that he will refer to the Holy Spirit as “she” and “her.” He doesn’t offer us any apologies for doing this (he doesn’t apologize for any uncomfortableness a reader might sense because of his choice, and he doesn’t apologize for any perceived blasphemy–for suggesting that God consists of not only a father and a brother, but also, gasp!…a mother. He merely, and quite sincerely, offers us a personal (as opposed to theological) reason, “as a gesture of gratitude to Paul Young, and in the hope of helping us all see the Holy Spirit more personally….” (pg.83) Of course, there are theological reasons for referring to the Holy Spirit as she, but we’ll save those for a later post and for the conference. For now let’s speak about the more emotional reason: a child’s heart cries out for the love of their parents–both parents.
For those of us who have eagerly been awaiting such a book as The Shack Revisited, and I know there are many, this book helps to sort through the confusion of Trinity. As a Christian who has related to the Holy Spirit (for most of her Christian life) as “she,” I am grateful for Baxter’s boldness and his sensible, and yet oh so gentle attitude toward the “she” in God. I can imagine that not only am I grateful to Baxter for allowing a mother to emerge from the scriptures, but I know so many others out there will be overjoyed to know that we truly have a comforter who loves us in the here and now. A power can’t comfort us, speak to us, or love us.
When Baxter speaks (in his book) about how the Spirit works in our lives, he does not refer to a mere invisible power–he paints the picture of a loving parent who works with us to set us free from sin and alive in love. He shows us how God works as mother.
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