Holiness Movement - Holiness Movement: a distinctively...

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Holiness Movement : a distinctively American movement that combined Wesleyan perfectionism and 19 th century revivalism John Wesley believed that Methodism had been raised up by God “to spread scriptural holiness over the land” ( Works , VIII, 299). His Plain Account of Christian Perfection (1766) described this holiness in terms of the cleansing power of complete consecration; “perfection” means a “complete” renovation of a Christian’s motivational center through an infusion of the Spirit and love of God. It is a “circumcision of the heart” that removes sinful self-centeredness, a “purity of intention” or “perfect love” which means “loving God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. This implies that no wrong temper, none contrary to love, remains in the soul; and that all the thoughts, words, and actions are governed by pure love.” ( Ibid , 394). This sort of “perfection,” since it was based in a Divine re-creation of the inner person, emphasized “full salvation” which Wesley described as “deliverance from both the guilt and power of sin.” His description of the reception of this sanctification combined the dynamics of a gradual process and an instantaneous crisis ( Ibid, 446). The American Holiness movement went through three distinct phases. The earliest, beginning in the opening decades of the nineteenth century, was a synthesis of traditional Methodist teaching on sanctification with revivalism. Charles Finney (1792-1875) became its leading spokesman in the mid 1830s; through the efforts of his
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Holiness Movement - Holiness Movement: a distinctively...

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