Book Review: Jesus, Continued by J.D. Greear

Jesus Continued

The Holy Spirit’s ministry is ever present, but at most times misunderstood, unfelt, and sometimes ignored. Is having the Spirit inside you better than having Jesus beside you? This is the discussion of J.D. Greear’s new book, Jesus, Continued, which is a Christian living book that deals with this important and much needed topic in pneumatology. The aim of Greear’s book is to discover the Holy Spirit and to reconnect with Him in a biblical, yet vibrant way. It is a book about both knowing the theology of the Holy Spirit as well as a proper relationship with Him that leads to Him unleashing His power through a Christian’s life.

Greear begins by first discussing the Spirit’s lack of power, and sometimes presence, in the life of the Christian and church. That is the aim of Part One, which describes the problem, and the reason why the author writes this book. The Holy Spirit is described as an Advocate (Jn 15:26), a Teacher (Jn 14:26), and one who convicts of sin, righteousness, and judgment (Jn 16:8). The author describes how the Spirit’s ministry is so important to the life of a Christian. He is not only a down payment of the Christian’s eternal salvation, but also the agent of sanctification in a believer’s life. He helps the Christian grow in His salvation and uses Him effectively in the Great Commission. However, His power is curiously missing in many Christians’ lives. He is misrepresented and misrelated to. The author teaches that the Spirit and the Word of God (The Bible) must go hand-in-hand. The Spirit uses the word to sanctify the believer (pg. 25). Without the word, there is no power in the believer’s relationship with God or mission in the world, but only a misguided sense of mysticism and subjectivism.

Greear explains how a Christian sees the Holy Spirit’s ministry at work, which is the main theological discussion of the book. He works in the gospel, first and foremost. Without the gospel, there is no salvation. There is no Spirit working in a believer’s life. Then there is the word of God (Scripture), the believer’s spiritual gifts, the corporate church, and our everyday circumstances. The author ends by discussing how the believer seeks and takes hold of a vibrant relationship and leading of God the Spirit, which is through the word, prayer, and repentance (pg. 14).

Jesus, Continued is a solid book that speaks about the Holy Spirit’s ministry and how to best benefit from the Spirit’s work in your life. Because of that, it is both theologically informative and highly practical in a believer’s life. That is one of the book’s main strength. It identifies the problem (Part 1), explains the solution (Part 2), and gives application of the solution (Part 3). The author does not shy away from speaking about issues concerning the Holy Spirit, and provides practical guidelines on how to commune properly with the Spirit. The book is commendable in how it does not glorifies charismatic theology (since it speaks about many of the misconceptions and fanaticism of the movement). At the same time, it is a not a book that praises hyper-cessationism as well. Greear believes that the Holy Spirit works in miraculous ways now like He did during the apostolic period. Even though his definition of cessationism is not totally accurate (He claims that cessationism believe in the cessation of all modern day miracles, when this is not the case. Cessationism believes in the cessation of sign gifts by individuals, not miracles themselves), he nevertheless paints the sign gifts in ways that do not cater to the subjective and emotion driven whims of charismatic theology. He compares everything the best he can to Scripture, demonstrating the guidelines and caution surrounding the sign gifts in our times.

This is a book that I would recommend for reading if you not only want to grow closer to God, but also understand what it takes to excel as a man of God in ministry, and in the pursuit of the Great Commission. Like I said, it is biblical and practical, one that every person will benefit from.

Note: I received this book as a complimentary copy from Booklookbloggers.com. I was not obligated to write a good review, but only my honest opinion. 

 

This book was reviewed by Steve Cha, author of Hollywood Mission: Possible: