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Gift and Giver, Repackaged Edition

The Holy Spirit for Today

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In Gift and Giver, leading New Testament scholar Craig Keener takes a probing look at the various evangelical understandings of the role of the Holy Spirit in the church. He explores topics such as spiritual gifts, the fruit of the Spirit, the Spirit's power for evangelism, and hearing God's voice. His desire is for Christians to "work for consensus, or at least for unity in God's work despite our differences on secondary matters."

Employing a helpful narrative approach and an ample number of stories, Keener enters into constructive dialogue with Pentecostals, moderates, and cessationists, all the while attempting to learn from each viewpoint. He seeks to bridge the gap between cessationists and Pentecostals/charismatics by urging all Christians to seek the Holy Spirit's empowerment. His irenic approach to this controversial issue has been endorsed by charismatics and non-charismatics alike.

Sure to provoke helpful dialogue on a topic that has caused unfortunate divisions within the church, Gift and Giver will be a valuable addition to college and seminary courses on pneumatology. It will also be helpful to lay readers interested in a balanced discussion of spiritual gifts. This repackaged edition includes an updated preface and a substantive new afterword.

1. Recognizing the Spirit's Voice
2. Learning to Hear God's Heart by the Spirit
3. The Spirit Empowers Us for Evangelism
4. The Spirit and How We Live
5. Are Spiritual Gifts for Today?
6. A Closer Look at Some Spiritual Gifts
7. The Spirit and Salvation
8. When Are We Baptized in the Spirit?
9. Tongues and the Spirit
10. Why Discern the Spirit?
Afterword: Looking Back on Twenty Years
Appendix: What Can Bible Stories Teach Us?


"Poring over Gift and Giver was a deeply moving experience because it is composed by a world-renowned scholar who is also overtly supernatural in his thinking and life. Some accounts he shares are just flat-out miracles--and encouraging ones at that."

J. P. Moreland, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University

"The levelheaded, anecdotally enriched exegesis that Craig Keener offers in this book broadens the categories of Spirit baptism, ongoing charismata, and current manifestations of the Spirit in a way that is pacifying, unifying, and edifying and neatly rounds off a good deal of recent debate. Disciplined scholarship and pastoral concern blend here most fruitfully, in lines of argument that have real importance for church life today and tomorrow."

J. I. Packer†, Regent College, Vancouver

"Massive learning matched by teaching that will produce a burning heart for more of God. Read this book on your knees."

R. T. Kendall, former pastor of Westminster Chapel

"If, concerning the person and work of the Holy Spirit, you feel caught between fear, cynicism, and scandal on the one hand, and thoughtless, overzealous craziness on the other, and are worried that no sane thinking or practice can be found today, then read Gift and Giver. Keener assures us that we can love and embrace God the Holy Spirit and his gifts with intellectual integrity and a genuine humility that breaks the back of divisiveness."

Todd Hunter, Anglican bishop; former director of Vineyard USA and of Alpha USA

"Keener has already demonstrated his ability to guide readers through difficult biblical and theological issues with splendid pastoral sensitivity and sharp exegetical acumen. Here he tackles key debates between charismatics and cessationists with similar aplomb."

Craig L. Blomberg, Denver Seminary

"Both scholarly and warmly personal, this book should be helpful to Pentecostals, charismatics, evangelicals, and any others needing a fresh perspective on the Holy Spirit's work today."

Vinson Synan, Regent University, Virginia

"Those wishing to walk successfully through the minefield of questions that both the Bible and contemporary experience raise will find this a welcome guide. I heartily commend it."

Ben Witherington III, Asbury Theological Seminary

The Author

  1. Craig S. Keener

    Craig S. Keener

    Craig S. Keener (Ph.D., Duke University) is F. M. and Ada Thompson Professor of Biblical Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary. He is author of 30 books, 5 of which have won awards in Christianity Today. More than a million copies of his books are in...

    Continue reading about Craig S. Keener


"Keener's book is suitable for college students, seminarians, and general readers. Those within the evangelical and the Pentecostal-charismatic movement will find it especially valuable as a volume that summarizes scholarship on this topic done in these circles over the past few decades."

Religious Studies Review

"Through methodical study of the New Testament and personal illustrations, Keener crafts an accessible, practical book on the gift of the Holy Spirit who was given for the transformation of Christians."

Barbara Mutch,

Christian Reflection

"Keener's conclusion is to seek not a single experience but a continuing relationship. This represents a sound contribution against the present-day polarization that plagues much of the literature in this field."

Calvin Theological Journal

"Keener has used his gift as a writer to share his thoughts on the gift of the Holy Spirit. Keener writes with the whole body of Christ in mind, ranging from the Pentecostal to the cessationist."

Christian Retailing