FROM OUR MAILBAG

Dear Mr. Reasoner,

Gary Freymiller gave me a copy of your work The Hole in the Holiness Movement which I read last year. Please know that I appreciated your line of argument very much. It is fitting and noteworthy that two scholars who have worked independently of one another can arrive at such similar conclusions. This perhaps indicates that we are seeing something in Wesley that is actually there! For example, in my work on Wesley I have stressed that hose who are born of God are free from the guilt and power of sin. Second, I have notes that the Holy Spirit witnesses to their spirits that they are indeed children of God. Third, I have denied that the faith of a servant constitutes what Wesley calls the proper Christian faith. Indeed, the faith of a servant remains sub-Christian because it lacks one of the key marks of a child of God, namely, freedom from the power of sin. And fourth, I too have maintained that it is simply ludicrous to contend that Aldersgate was the time of Wesley's entire sanctification. Instead, it was the time when he was justified by faith, born of God, and when he received a measure of assurance. It was, therefore, the time when he became a real Christian by how own mature criteria. Now if the holiness movement has failed to understand what Wesley meant by the new birth, how will it ever understand what he meant by entire sanctification?

In His grace,

Dr. Kenneth J. Collins,
Womack Professor of Philosophy and Religion Methodist College,
Fayetteville, NC
and current President, Wesleyan Theological Society


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