Some fascinating and slightly enigmatic thoughts from Christoph Blumhardt on the Holy Spirit:

“It has now become clear to me that what is decisive in the Kingdom of God is never a single dogmatically fixed and systematized teaching; rather, it is the living God alone that is decisive… But it has also, further, become clear to me that this living intervention of God never repeats itself once and for all according to a certain schema, or is carried out mechanically through means of grace. The intervention of God comes much more like a thief in the night.”

“[In the history of the church,] whenever the outpouring of the Holy Spirit ceased, what followed was always a renewed giving of the Law… The radicalism of the Apostle Paul against all statutory Law-giving has justified for all time the prayer for a new outpouring of the Spirit.”

Christoph F. Blumhardt (1842-1919) was a South German Lutheran minister and theologian who had all sorts of interesting things to say about the Spirit. He was known as a faith-healer, and developed something like a “charismatic theology of the cross”. He was also the only well-known German clergyman to oppose militaristic nationalism in World War 1 on theological grounds, and one of the first to join the Social Democratic Party (for the latter, he was immediately defrocked). For these reasons and others, he is known, I think rightly, as a prophetic/ saintly figure in certain theological circles. Karl Barth called him one of the few theologians since Schleiermacher who “did not bow the knee to Baal”. These quotations are from his book Gedanken aus dem Reiche Gottes.