Pentecost, Perichoresis, and the Perfection of the Person:
Perichoresis and Spirit as Essential Concepts for Theological Anthropology
John Jefferson Davis
Senior Professor of Systematic Theology
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that the Holy Spirit and perichoresis are both essential categories for a proper understanding of biblical anthropology and the Imago Dei. The Holy Spirit has received much attention in relation to the doctrines of regeneration, sanctification, and the Christian life, and perichoresis has received attention in relation to Christology (the two natures of Christ), and to some extent, in relation to the doctrine of the Trinity. However, neither the Spirit nor perichoresis has been integrally linked to a biblical understanding of the human person. This paper will bring the two together, in hopes of showing that the redeemed person’s final end experiencing a perichoretic unity with the Trinity and the Body of Christ (John 17:21: ”they in us”) and being filled with the Spirit and the fullness of God (Eph 1:13; 3:19) should be kept in mind from the beginning, when texts such as Gen 1:26 on the Imago Dei are being considered.
This paper will build upon, and extend, the author’s previous journal articles on perichoresis, the Holy Spirit, and the Trinity, published in Themelios, the Evangelical Review of Theology, and the Doon Theological Journal (India).