The American Wesleyan-Holiness Movement's doctrine of entire sanctification: A reformulation
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Sanctification--History of doctrines.
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The problem this dissertation attempts to solve is how to define entire sanctification for the contemporary American Holiness Movement. A distinctive debate is going on between Wesleyan-Holiness scholars. Scholars are asking the following questions: What is Wesley's doctrine of entire sanctification? Has the Holiness Movement been faithful to Wesley's teaching on this doctrine? Does its teaching on this doctrine need to be retained, replaced, or revised? What are some major Wesleyan-Holiness theologians currently proposing on this subject? Scholars take a position on one of three solutions to the Wesleyan-Holiness doctrine. First, the "second blessing holiness" model of the nineteenth century should be retained and reemphasized. Second, some maintain that either a more Reformed view or a more Liberal view should be espoused. Third, a search farther back than the nineteenth century to John Wesley himself and even earlier to the biblical-theological-cultural influences on his life and thought should occur. This dissertation agrees with this last position. Therefore, the following thesis is proposed. The Wesleyan-Holiness doctrine of entire sanctification, if it is to be biblically, historically, theologically, and experientially sound, must be reformulated such that holy affections are inculcated in accountability to the body of Christ through a Catholic virtue habituation process. To do this, the following steps are taken: (1) Summarize John Wesley's position on entire sanctification. (2) Survey and analyze the major, distinct nineteenth and twentieth-century Wesleyan-Holiness works on entire sanctification in order to recognize the theological development over that century. (3) Survey and analyze Wesley's view and the major, distinct nineteenth and twentieth-century Wesleyan-Holiness works on three biblical correctives: the Kingdom of God, the Body, and the Body of Christ. Study Roman Catholicism at this point. (4) Propose part one of a solution to the debate: right belief (orthodoxy). Integrate twentieth-century Wesleyan-Holiness sanctification models and three biblical correctives, the Kingdom of God, the Body, and the Body of Christ. (5) Propose part two of a solution: right practice (orthopraxy), covering the topics of a Wesleyan-Holiness meaning of grace and the means of grace. (6) Propose part three of a solution: right affections (orthopathy), covering the topics of religious experience in Wesleyan-Holiness thought, religious affections, and Catholic virtue habituation.