The Enlightenment, autonomous individual, that rugged, Marlboro man who needs nothing but his own cigarettes and skepticism, has fallen on tough times. To some extent Postmodernity is the driving force of decay, falsifying our sense of self and reviving the idea that humans find their truest identity within community. I’m skeptical of what kind of community can ultimately be produced under a postmodern worldview, but whatever the case we can at least rejoice in the resurgence of the old axiom, “No man is an island.”
So it is with the Spirit: The Spirit of God is not an autonomous self. The Spirit finds identity within two communities: The community of the Trinity and the community of Ecclesia – the church. Ever longing to bring these two communities into union, the Spirit actively comes forth from the Father in wooing joy, enjoining the church to greater participation in the divine nature.
The biblical picture of the Spirit is divine power and life. Within the Trinitarian community, the Spirit as power and life is the means by which the persons of the Trinity love one another. In Augustine’s terms, as cited earlier, the Spirit is the “bond of love” within the Trinitarian dance.
As the bond of love, the Spirit is seen here in terms of relationality. The Spirit relates to and submits to the other persons of the Trinity without losing individuality and identity. The community is not forced upon the Spirit in the sense of overshadowing the Spirit as an individual person. But neither is the individual person of the Spirit the primary concern overriding the community. Within the Trinitarian community there is a dance of love whereby each member sacrificially loves the others and places the others above themselves. This is essential to the nature of God and therefore to the nature of the Spirit.
Community of Ecclesia
The Spirit is not restricted to heavenly relationships, but has willfully and ecstatically chosen to participate in the human community we call the church. “Spirit brings persons together in heaven and on earth, being both the medium of the communication of Jesus with the Father and the medium of our communication with brothers and sisters.”
The Spirit is the bond of love between the church and her savior. She sweeps the church up in her arms, carrying us to the Father, urging us to further sanctification, and all the while liberally lavishing on us the love of our Lord.
Yet the Spirit is not merely a force pushing us to God; the Spirit leads us with a chord of gentleness and compassion, convicting us when we fall behind, bestowing grace on us when we fail, and grieving with us when we mourn.
Furthermore, the relationship of the Spirit to the church is not just vertically oriented. The Spirit moves us to further union with our brothers and sisters in Christ. The Spirit works amongst Calvinists and Arminians, Complementarians and Egalitarians precisely because none of these systems can fully conceptualize Ruach. The wind cannot be constrained in our canisters of theological conjecture.
The love of the Trinitarian community was perfect before the Creation. Yet that perfect love desired (did not need) someone to share its love with. God created humanity and called out Israel and then the church as the object of His affection. God desires to draw us, through the Spirit, into that Trinitarian dance of love whereby there is mutual submission and communion. The Spirit is the church’s answer to its individualism and self-focus by wooing us to participation in Trinitarian love. We were “created in the first place to reflect God’s own perfection, and [our] destiny is to participate in the very life of God.”
 I qualify this statement because there are aspects of Postmodernity which cling ferociously to the myth of the autonomous individual. So, it is neither the final answer nor is it the only challenge to individualism.
 I hope to expand on these thoughts later, so excuse what is left out in this brief rundown.
 Let me add at this point that I do not think the Spirit is restricted to Ecclesia either. But I will spell that out in a later post.
 Clark Pinnock, Flame of Love. 39.
 Pinnock, 41.