There is perhaps no doctrine as closely associated with the holiness movement as that of entire sanctification. It is undisputable that this is a teaching that the holiness movement owes to John Wesley. Entire sanctification – or Christian perfection, as Wesley referred to it – was central to Wesley’s personal spiritual growth and the development of the 18th-century Methodist movement. Professor and author Thomas Jay Oord  pointed out that more than eighty Christian denominations today – among them the United Methodist Church, the Salvation Army, the Free Methodist Church, the Church of God (Anderson), and the Church of the Nazarene – consider Wesley to be their primary theological ancestor, making it extremely important for holiness people that entire sanctification be defined precisely.

This series of posts compared the teachings of John Wesley on entire sanctification with those of Phoebe Palmer, the 19th-century holiness advocate whose teachings so heavily influenced the holiness movement. These posts raised the argument that Mrs. Palmer’s teaching on entire sanctification – her  “altar theology” – was in fact an altered theology of entire sanctification, examined the consequences of that for the Holiness movement, and suggested a possible solution for the problems caused by those consequences. Given the high interest in the subject evidenced by the high number of views for each post, I have placed the links for these all together on one page.

Part One: John Wesley’s Teachings on Entire Sanctification

Part Two: Phoebe Palmer’s Teaching on Entire Sanctification

Part Three: An Identity Crisis in the Holiness Movement

Part Four: Liturgy – The Solution to an Identity Crisis