Simmons Writes Book on Holy Spirit
Dr. William Simmons' newest book, "The Holy Spirit in the New Testament: a Pentecostal Guide," will be released next month. The book explores the presence of the Spirit through a Pentecostal lens and is published by IVP Academic.
"A major goal of the book is to join the gifts of sound biblical study with the discipleship needs of the church," said Simmons. "I can honestly say that for me, the process of writing the book was an exercise in spiritual formation. My personal faith was strengthened by writing this book."
Simmons, an adjunct professor of New Testament and Greek at Lee, began writing the book three years ago while on a summer research grant from Lee in Cambridge, England. Simmons immersed himself in the Tyndale House, an independent biblical studies library that provides specialist resources for Christian and biblical research, spending 12 to 14 hours every day conducting research and writing. The result was "The Holy Spirit in the New Testament: a Pentecostal Guide."
"It became clear to me that the great 'Bridge Builder,' the One who could seamlessly join the gifts of the scholar and the spiritual formation of the believer, was none other than the Holy Spirit," said Simmons. "To that end, I dedicated myself to a study of the Holy Spirit in each book of the New Testament."
Unlike many books based on the words and grammar of New Testament, Simmons says his book is intended to have a devotional effect on the reader. Every chapter has a "Key Verse" from the Bible, a mini devotion titled "Pause for Prayer," and a concluding section labeled "What does it mean for me?"
"I wanted this work to have genuine spiritual impact upon its readers. So, all along the way, I incorporated devotional exercises aimed at enhancing the spiritual life of the reader," said Simmons. "Simply put, the reader is not supposed to be the same after finishing a chapter on the Holy Spirit. They are supposed to be closer to God."
Simmons argues that the church needs a Spirit-centered interpretation of scripture informed by a Pentecostal lens, due to the ever-increasing number of Christians worldwide who self-identify as Pentecostal and Charismatic. In his book, Simmons provides an accessible New Testament introduction that discusses themes and passages of particular interest to Pentecostal readers. The book aims to open a dialogue between the academy and the church, demonstrating how sound exegesis speaks to Spirit-filled Christians.
"As a Pentecostal myself, I am grateful for a kindred spirit like Simmons who is also living in that sometimes awkward but also hopeful space between the church and the academy," said Holly Beers, associate professor of religious studies at Westmont College. "May his book remind us all that the Spirit is present there as well."
Simmons joined Lee's faculty in 1986 and teaches various undergraduate and master's level courses. His area of specialty addresses the historical and cultural background of the New Testament and New Testament Greek. In addition to his newest book, he has published a variety of other works, such as "Peoples of the New Testament World: an Illustrated Guide," "A Theology of Inclusion," "A Concise Background of the New Testament," and a commentary on Galatians. Simmons and his wife Lenae have three adult children, David, Nathaniel, and Laura.
"The Holy Spirit in the New Testament: a Pentecostal Guide" can be purchased as a hard copy or as an e-book beginning Oct. 26 on Amazon, IVP Academics, and the Logos Bible Software site.
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