The Holy Spirit and Human Personality

Volume 4
Fall 1976
The Holy Spirit and Human Personality

Concepts of an ultimate and eternal reality in the universe can no longer be taken for granted. People living within a contemporary frame of reference often find it difficult even to talk about the Holy Spirit as an interacting personality with the spirit of man. Yet the experience of life for even the most "modern" of men forces him to move outside of his closed system in order to satisfy his underlying quest for meaning. It is at this point that talk about the Holy Spirit once more becomes possible. The search for an understanding of the complex aspects of human personality is by no means over. The conflict model of personality structure generated by Freud and the fulfillment models exemplified in Adler, Masslow and others have each made their contribution to understanding. Current trends often focus on the consistency models that emphasize the role of interaction with one's environment in the process of becoming. With the theological understanding that God as person, and man as person, not only the possibility, but the necessity of man's personality (spirit) interacting with the personality (Spirit) of God is before us. This is described by H. Wheeler Robinson's phrase, "the pressure of the Spirit upon the spirit." Too often this spiritual dimension of man is overlooked when one talks about interaction with the environment. But the "environment of the Spirit" is an ever-present factor and in itself may account for personality changes within man. This is reflected in the biblical concept of the goal directed man (andra telion) and his search for integration and completeness.

W.D. Craker
269 - 279
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