Thursday, June 19, 2008

Christian Theology 2: Day 2

Today's class concentrated on the theology of the Holy Spirit. We spent the whole day on this topic, from who he is to what he does. The usual questions on tongues were brought up and debated upon. For me, it was a "been there done that" kind of thing and was therefore reticent throughout. What I learnt though were these:

1. The speaking in other tongues at Pentecost can be viewed as "an indication of the reversal of the judgement of God at the tower of Babel. Instead of separation, alienation, and antagonism, there is now the formation of a reconciled community from all tongues and nations". But only if you view the event at the tower of Babel a judgement of God, which of course is the common thought. I have blogged this before - an alternate view that the tower of Babel event may point to the origins of cultural difference.

2. The accounts of the filling of the Holy Spirit in Pentecost, in Samaria, in Cornelius and his household are reminiscent of Acts 1:8, "but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." I hadn't seen that linkage.

Our lecturer, Christopher, also introduced us to a very interesting painting entitled "The Trinity" by a Russian painter, Andrei Rublev (1370-1430).

Some interesting questions:

1. Why did Rublev paint the Trinity this way?
2. Which do you think were the Father, Son and Holy Spirit?
3. What other characteristics of the painting did you notice - colours, items, expressions, etc.?

For more, check it out here.

Alex had commented that because I broke my 6-months-book-fast with the purchase of the book for my Psalms assignment (which by the way has not yet arrived from, I am more on a book diet. Technically yes but I'd rather still call it a fast. However, with this CT2 module, I would like to get a copy of Alister McGrath's Christian Theology, An Introduction since I have a passion for Historical Theology, and Christopher has gotten me interested in Sinclair Fergusen's The Holy Spirit. I think I will wait on Fergusen's but relent on McGrath's. I'll need McGrath for my assignment.


note: I will respond to comments in due time. I have been trying to publish this for the past 40 minutes - connections are bad.


  1. Interesting concepts/theories on Babel. I can grant at least that Christianity through the Holy Spirit does bring persons of all cultures together.

    note: I will respond to comments in due time. I have been trying to publish this for the past 40 minutes - connections are bad.

    This can drive someone 'crazy'.


  2. my comments on Rublev's icon here :)

  3. The painting seems a bit feminine to me.

    A few months ago I preached about the Holy Spirit to the inmates at our city jail. I was amazed at how this message kept their attention. They all flocked to the front at the invitation. So many need His power to live and so many misunderstand the power of the Spirit.. sigh..

  4. Russ,
    Yes, it can drive one crazy but I am amazed I did not go that way. I just gave in to reality :) as life would have it at times.

  5. Alex,
    Did not remember you posting that :)

  6. KB,
    How would a manly painting of the Trinity look like? :) :) =)

    I hear you on the Holy Spirit - we are still a human race who strives only for ourselves ... sigh ...