Lively, wise, profound, and winsome, this refreshing new book takes the Holy Spirit from the mountaintop to the grit of everyday life by showing us that the Holy Spirit is not just about speaking in tongues, spiritual gifts or “fruits”—but also about our deepest breath and our highest aspirations. Provocative and life-changing, Fresh Air blends moving personal stories, rich biblical studies, and practical strategies for experiencing the daily presence of the Holy Spirit where we least expect it—in human breathing, in social transformation, in community, in hostile situations, and in serious learning. Small wonder that Scot McKnight calls Fresh Air “the most biblical, wide-ranging, innovative, and refreshing book on the Holy Spirit in years,” and Eugene Peterson calls it “a rare and remarkable achievement.”
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“People told me Jack Levison was a great teacher, and when I read this book I realized why. His excitement is infectious; he tells a great story; he sets little-known biblical passages on fire and drills down to unimagined depths in well-known ones. He has a boyish enthusiasm, but his account of the holy spirit—and what the spirit can do for whole churches, not just individuals!—is mature, seasoned, challenging and wise. His scholarship is spot on, his human warmth and Christian compassion are everywhere. An unbeatable combination.”
“Fresh Air is exactly what its title promises: a lively, fresh study of the theology of the Holy Spirit by a brilliant and spirited theologian. If there is such a thing as poignant Christian midrash, then this surely is it.”
“Fresh Air is, well, a breath of fresh air. Jack Levison fuses an accurate but unpretentious examination of the Holy Spirit in Scripture with a lively and generous style that invites the entire Christian community, regardless of label, to embrace God’s Spirit in the everyday ordinariness of life.”
“Jack Levison’s book is the most biblical, wide-ranging, innovative, and refreshing book on the Holy Spirit in years. The Spirit is here de-programmed and set loose. You may be surprised in every chapter, I know I was.”
“I’ve often asked pastors, ‘Who is the most neglected person of the Trinity?’ They always answer, ‘The Holy Spirit.’ In this lively and—well—Spirit-filled book, Jack Levison enjoys the exploits of the Holy Spirit throughout scripture, provoking a fresh encounter with God. Jack is uniquely qualified to lead us, combining his scholarly understanding of scripture with his deep affection for the church, both mainline and Pentecostal. No one will think about the Holy Spirit in the same way after reading Jack’s book.”
“Fresh Air offers careful examination of the Holy Spirit, all tangled up with a wide wonder.”
Fresh Air by Jack Levison is, as the title of the book suggests, a refreshing, perspective-expanding and worthwhile read on the person and work of the Holy Spirit in our day. The subject of the Holy Spirit is clouded by the views of polar opposite camps, in North American Christianity in particular.
On the one hand there are segments of my heritage in classical Pentecostalism who have relegated the Holy Spirit to either a labor-saving shortcut to spiritual maturity or to extravagant experiences that a friend of mine in Hong Kong calls, “this present weirdness.” But on the other hand, the person of the Holy Spirit is malignantly neglected, given only lip service in a creedal statement. Both of these extremes unfortunately leave the church of Jesus ill-equipped to truly experience God, to be transformed by his power, or to engage in his mission.
Gordon Fee wrote in Paul, the Spirit, and the People of God:
“If the church is going to be effective in our postmodern world, we need to stop paying lip service to the Holy Spirit and recapture Paul’s perspective: the Spirit as the experienced, empowering return of God’s own personal presence in and among us, who enables us to live as a radically eschatological people in the present world while we await its consummation” (p. xv).
I believe Fresh Air puts practical tools in our hands to do what Gordon Fee believes is so needed in our times: to recapture a biblical view of and practical approach to life in the Spirit.
—Alec Rowlands, senior pastor of Westgate Chapel, Edmonds WA