Reviewed by Robert P. Menzies
This important book was penned by a Korean Assemblies of God minister, a fine scholar who studied at the Asia Pacific Theological Seminary prior to his doctoral studies at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. In this revised version of his Ph.D. thesis, Dr. Cho argues in convincing fashion that Paul refers to the work of the Spirit in order to communicate the significance of Jesus’ teaching about the Kingdom of God to his largely gentile and Hellenistic audience. This book is significant for several reasons.
First, the book offers an important glimpse into the nature of the relationship between the teaching of Jesus and the proclamation of Paul, an issue that NT scholars have wrestled with for years. In so doing, Dr. Cho highlights a significant thread of continuity that binds together the message of the New Testament.
Secondly, Pentecostals will resonate with the fresh insights into the early church’s understanding of the work of the Spirit provided by Dr. Cho. Dr. Cho’s thesis challenges non-Pentecostal readings of the NT which tend to force Luke into a rigid Pauline mold. Dr. Cho calls us to recognize the true diversity and power of the biblical witness regarding the Spirit’s work.
Finally, Dr. Cho represents a growing and significant group of emerging Asian biblical scholars. In view of trends in this region, it is no surprise that a significant number of these scholars, like Dr. Cho, are Pentecostal in their theology and praxis. I am convinced that the next decade will witness a burst of creative theological contributions from this region. These contributions will serve to strengthen the church around the world.