21 October 2023

The Holy Spirit: An exciting read

Cadet Sophie Borrett

The front cover of the book Big Questions for Small Groups: The Holy Spirit. The cover shows a small group reading the Bible together. There is a yellow filter.

Cadet Sophie Borrett reviews Big Questions for Small Groups: The Holy Spirit by Major Wendy Stanbury.

Part of the Big Questions for Small Groups series, this latest addition explores the person and work of the Holy Spirit.

‘The Holy Spirit has been referred to as the “forgotten person” or “the Cinderella” of the Trinity,’ writes author Major Wendy Stanbury. The book, unsurprisingly, affirms Salvation Army doctrine that the Trinity is ‘undivided in essence and co-equal in power and glory’, but Stanbury suggests that we have failed to consistently see the Spirit as an equal focus of our worship and prayer.

From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible is packed with verses about the Spirit as an integral part of the Godhead. Though the word ‘Trinity’ does not appear in Scripture, the interconnected nature and presence of these three persons is impossible to ignore.

The book’s engaging exploration of Scripture’s signposting – implicitly or explicitly – to the powerful nature of the Holy Spirit is unpacked through translation, interpretation and Salvation Army literature. In doing so, it is an exciting read that encourages us to rediscover an equal love of God’s third person.

Following the series format, Stanbury provides answers to five pertinent questions: How do I explain the Holy Spirit to non-Christians? Did the Holy Spirit exist before Pentecost? Is the Holy Spirit the lesser part of the Trinity? What is the connection between the Holy Spirit and holiness? What is the place of the Holy Spirit in mission?

Each question also includes five discussion questions to share with a group, your household or perhaps use for personal reflection. Stanbury journeys through an understanding of the Holy Spirit as God, how this impacts our actions as Christians, and eventually ends with its implications for mission.

Personally, the most thought-provoking question included in the book is: Is The Salvation Army still a holiness Movement? Whether or not you consider the Army to be a Church Movement in 2023, there are certainly opportunities to recapture our roots as a holiness Movement. If that prospect lights a fire in your heart, I would recommend this book as an excellent place to start.

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Sophie Borrett


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Big Questions for Small Groups: The Holy Spirit is available now from SP&S.

BQSG: The Holy Spirit

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