This collection of studies, prepared in honor of one of the church's distinguished teachers and pastoral servants, Dr. Howard M. Ervin, attempts to address some of the pressing theological issues of our day. Important matters of biblical interpretation in the evangelical and charismatic scenes are treated by three of the contributors, including one by the honoree himself. The role of the Holy Spirit in interpretation is critiqued by professor Horner, while professors F. F. Bruce and J. D. G. Dunn offer some penetrating insights into the work of the Spirit in Paul's churches and into the nature of the New Testament believer as understood by the great apostle. Professor Rea gives us his timely observations on the nature of spiritual experience in the lives of Old Testament believers, drawing out appropriate lessons for today. We trust further that 'Essays on Apostolic Themes' may have something to offer to the discipline of historical theology with five essays, ranging from prophetic-type phenomena in Iranaeus's church and charismatic motifs in Calvin's thoughts to critical assessments of Lewi Pethrus and Donald Gee, who are, within their own cultures, appraised as being dynamic figures of leadership in the pentecostal tradition. Similarly, based on his earlier book of the eighteenth century pioneer of pentecost, Dr. Strachan presents a stimulating piece on the development of Edward Irving's thought. The early reception in America of the charismatic movement is sagaciously surveyed by Dr. Connelly and productive ideas on the mystical presence of Christ in our Lord's supper are advanced by professor Gelpi. 'Essays' concludes with a contribution to the much discussed issues of church growth, wherein practical suggestions are tabled based on the potential implied by Luke's text of the book of Acts.
Overall, the editor and respective authors submit this anniversary volume to their colleague and friend, Dr. Howard M. Ervin, and to its readers everywhere in the hope that these fourteen studies may make a useful international contribution to scholarship and that 'Essays' may be found helpful to preachers, teachers, and students of God's word.