Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Cruciformity: The Cruciform Power of the Spirit

Gorman sets up his discussion of the Spirit of God by noting that it is usually associated with power: the power of creation, of spiritual and moral transformation, and ultimately of new creation. This context is extremely important to keep in mind in the following discussion.

Gorman’s rather catchy description of Paul as an uncharismatic charismatic is not only clever it is very interesting. He takes the two meanings of the term charismatic namely, someone with a magnetic personality and one who is dynamic in leadership, and someone who is possessed by the Spirit of God. In terms of the former Paul is a self assessed uncharismatic (presumably Paul must be speaking of his style in public speeches, because his letters show at least a semblance of rhetorical sophistication). In terms of the latter Paul is charismatic, in that his ministry was driven by his Spirit inspired gifts. Where the term uncharismatic charismatic becomes interesting (and not just clever anymore) is Gorman’s ability to show the interconnectedness of spirit and power.

For Gorman it is in Paul’s experience and his resulting understanding of the Spirit which is the key to understanding the paradoxical symbiosis of power and weakness.

There is more to say on the Spirit and Gorman certainly does, but if I have any hopes of finishing this series the post have to be rather short.

On another note Michael Gorman is flirting with his own blog!

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