Abstract

In what way is the Holy Spirit present in the life of the church? Questions of ecclesiology and pneumatology have traditionally divided denominations. Today these questions are at the centre of renewed ecumenical rapprochement. This article presents the contribution of the classic study on Martin Luther’s pneumatology, Spiritus Creator (1946), by the Danish theologian Regin Prenter (1907–1990). One basic insight in Prenter’s interpretation of Luther is the Spirit’s role of conveying the real presence of Christ in the life of the believer. This also means that the Spirit conveys the experience of Christ. As a Lutheran, Prenter underlines the role of word and sacrament as the tool of transmitting the Spirit. This does not mean that the Spirit is limited to word and sacrament, as an institutionally oriented reading of the Augsburg Confession may advocate. A pneumatologically oriented ecclesiology inspired by Prenter’s reading of Luther may open new possibilities for a “re-ceptive ecumenism”, including insights from Pentecostal and Charismatic theology in a Lutheran context.