Book Review: Welcome Holy Spirit

A Fair Trade Book

Title: Welcome Holy Spirit

Author: Garrie Fraser Williams

Date: 1994

Publisher: Review & Herald Publishing Association

ISBN: 0-8280-0852-3

Length: 365 one-page devotions, 6-page scripture index

Quote: “Spend a year studying everything in the Bible on the Holy Spirit.”

More than 365 Bible passages mention the Holy Spirit. Williams has considered some verses that appear close together as one passage, and some as more than one, to get 365 one-page commentaries. The passages appear in the same order they appear in the Bible. Like most writers who choose Review & Herald Publishing, Williams is a Seventh-Day Adventist minister writing primarily for other Seventh-Day Adventists, to whom this orderly sequence will be natural and easy to follow.

He doesn’t try to address all denominations impartially. There’s what might be called a mainstream view of the Holy Spirit, and what might be called the charismatic view. Adventists take the mainstream view, and Williams writes within that view throughout his book. He does, however, refer to the history and literature of other Christian denominations.

He also makes some typically S.D.A. mistakes. On page 54 Williams cites, as an example of “satanic attack,” the following incident: “A pastor who became depressed was asked, ‘Why don’t you practice what you preach?’” It’s not unusual, Williams continues, for Christian people to find themselves, “for no fault of their own, the objects of insult, suspicion, and ridicule.” It is not unusual for those people, later, to ask their verbal abusers why they don’t practice what they preach. It is unusual in mainstream society, yet quintessentially typical of verbally abusive Adventists, for verbal abusers to call this natural consequence of their actions a “satanic attack.”

Further internal evidence suggests to me that Williams may have been the pastor who received that particular “satanic attack,” or prophetic message, depending on how we look at it. On page 87 William shares what “a pastor” learned from a bout with depression as a symptom of a physical disease. “‘I went in bitterness, int he heat of my spirit; but the hand of the Lord was strong upon me.’—Ezekiel 3:14, NKJV. God’s Spirit does not operate in our lives on the basis of our feelings but rather in response to our willingness.”

There speaks a man who has found the same Great Key Principle I’ve found in depression-as-symptom: Fix facts first; feelings follow. If Williams has never cured or recovered from a depressing disease, and watched the depression, which Positive Thinking never helped, just melt away, he has at least learned something from someone who has.

This book is recommended to mature Christians who know how to read the religious writings of our fellow mortals, comparing each idea against reason and revelation, taking the good ones and leaving the bad ones. Welcome Holy Spirit is the earnest effort of an ordinary fallible mortal. He has taken the trouble to assemble 365 Bible texts that are worth reading comparatively, as a set, whether you bother to read his commentary or not. If you read only the Scripture at the top of each page, this will be an enlightening book for any Christian.

Williams is alive and well; he even has an e-book, also about the Holy Spirit, available on Scribd. Therefore this early work of his is a Fair Trade Book. If you send $5 per book + $5 per package to salolianigodagewi @ yahoo, which we count as a total of $10 even if you order four books and send a total of $25, we’ll send $1 per book to Garrie Fraser Williams or a charity of his choice.

Here, for Google + purposes, is our Book Review Cat from Morguefile:

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