On Trances and Ecstasies: Thanks for Nothing, Bernini

One of the objections I received from a couple of people who read the pre-publication manuscript of A Conspiracy of Breath (and praised it otherwise) had to do with the way I portrayed Priscilla receiving revelation. In her first contact with the Holy Spirit, He overwhelmed her with words that were recorded at the time,  but with which she had little other interaction. Later, I depict Priscilla in a deepening, and more interactive, relationship with the Holy Spirit who not only gives her words but allows her to wrestle with them. The people who objected to this kind of process described in my manuscript had two comments. One did not believe that verbal inspiration happened this way—with literal trances that resulted in literary results. I responded that it...

Controversial: How the Holy Spirit Could Act with a Lady

IIs There a  Southern Gentleman Holy Spirit? When I was a baby Christian, I tried to make sense of the Trinity. I was newly washed from Mormonism, where its theology neatly packaged each member of its godhead into a separate body. Easy peasy. Compartments, check, check, check. Now adrift in the murky waters of a Christian denomination that prided itself on having no creed, I struggled most with the concept of the Holy Spirit. He was God? I gulped. Not a separate, conscious entity with a history (though unknown), thoroughly distinct from his corporate partners, the father and the son of LDS theology? It made my head hurt. But someone showed me this graphic. “Don’t worry,” a godly older woman later told me, “think of the Holy Spirit as a gentleman. He...

Where are the voices of the Acts 2 Women?

Where are the voices of the Acts 2 Women?

Ah, the Pentecost promises:  Young men and old men would dream dreams and see visions. And sure enough, Peter views a sheet and hears the words that will revolutionize race relations in the fledgling church. Paul is accosted by Jesus on a roadway and talks with Him about just how much conversation will cost Paul in the future. He sees a Macedonian and reroutes his travel plans. He later is caught up into the third heaven and though the message is unspeakable, the account of it is not. Later, old man John finds himself catapulted through a celestial door to see beasts and angels and bowls and candlesticks; and the same lips that eat a little scroll later speak of even more incredible wonders. And we know about these things because we have Peter’s, and Paul’s,...