Witnessing with the Holy Spirit: Pneumatology and missiology in evangelistic theory
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This dissertation demonstrates that a biblical theology of the Holy Spirit's work in evangelism, when integrated with soteriological and missiological insights, provides the basis for evangelistic communication that depends on and cooperates with the Spirit. Chapter 1 notes the lack of attention to the sovereign Spirit's evangelistic work, especially as this influences evangelistic practice, and it introduces several definitions and the methodology for what follows. Chapter 2 surveys the literature that clusters around the focal point of Pneumatology, soteriology, and missiology. It reviews the differing dynamics and recent trends within evangelical missiology that relate to Pneumatology and evangelistic theory, concluding that more attention must be given to the Spirit's role in evangelistic theory. Chapter 3 summarizes a biblical theology of the Spirit's evangelistic work, examining significant themes in the OT, Gospels, and post-Pentecost NT and answering questions that relate to Pneumatology and evangelistic theory. Chapter 4 sketches the contours of the Holy Spirit's work in spiritual conversion, summarizing a theology of the conviction, illumination, and effectual calling of unbelievers. These two chapters are foundational to the evangelistic theory outlined in the next two chapters. The activity of "witnessing with the Spirit" is explained in chapters 5 and 6. Chapter 5 develops an evangelistic methodology that depends on and cooperates with the Holy Spirit, considering both the essential and the ancillary witnesses in the evangelistic trialogue. Chapter 6 then examines how this methodology is integrated with communication theory for the practice of evangelism together with the sovereign Spirit, explaining how the Spirit promotes both the relevance of the message with the behavioral sciences and the competence of the evangelist with personal biblical spirituality. Chapter 7 concludes with several implications by reflecting on this study and suggesting areas for further research and application.