5 Views on Sanctification

December 17, 2010

Several years ago a book was released attempting to outline and compare the major divergent views about the doctrine of sanctification, Five Views on Sanctification.  In this book five respected theologians, each a proponent of one of the respective positions gave an outline explanation of the positions: Wesleyan/Holiness, Reformed/Puritan, Keswick, Dispensational, and Pentecostal.  Following the introduction by the adherent theologian, each of the other theologians then interact with the presented view in a rebuttal/defense discussion that reflects the strengths and weaknesses of the various positions.

This is an important discussion because it reflects one of the major areas where Christians view things from vastly different perspectives.  But unlike other areas where sincere Believers differ (i.e. Eschatology, Baptism, Church Government, Complementarian vs. Egalitarian) this subject is not often as clearly articulated as those other subjects.  Rather, sanctification seems to be assumed.  I am not making the case that we add this discussion to our all too common arguments, as we might add another log on a fire.  But I do see a value in awareness of these differences so that we can talk to one another. Failure to understand that many hold different views on this subject lead to speaking in different languages and/or talking at one another instead of talking to one another.

For this reason I appreciate an essay by Mike Sullivan of Xenos Christian Fellowship.  Mike has summarized the fore mentioned book in an essay, 5 Views of Sanctification.  Mike summarizes the positions and interacts with the book, then adds his own comments to the subject.

While the book is not long, it is not something I expect a lot of people will take time to read.  Mike’s essay makes this subject much more accessible to us.

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