Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Reader

Ronald J. Feenstra

Second Reader

John Bolt

Third Reader

James D. Bratt

Fourth Reader

Mark R. Quanstrom


This dissertation argues that current problems in Nazarene holiness theology can be traced to a person-centered theological approach, which was introduced into theological reflection and practice during the Nineteenth Century Holiness Movement. Subjectivism has resulted in articulations of holiness doctrine that over-value the human role in religious experience and obscure the primacy of grace. These problems can be overcome by an articulation of holiness doctrine from the standpoint of its transcendent goalfullness in divine-human communion. Fullness of communion is divine-human fellowship characterized by the full actualization of divine Lordship and wholehearted human devotion, through the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Entire sanctification is the decisive moment of faith, subsequent to justification, in which the Holy Spirit cleanses the believer from inherited sin and initializes fullness of communion. The effect of fullness of communion is a pure heart and holy character. When the church is oriented to fullness of communion, it obtains a doxological character. The church lives in expectation of entire sanctification by using the means of grace. It expresses fullness of communion through its fellowship of holy love and its capacity to transcend marginalization. This approach affirms both the primacy of grace and moral responsibility as a necessity and possibility within the framework of grace. It locates entire sanctification within the faith-grace continuum of the Wesleyan ordo salutis and grounds the possibility of human holiness in divine holiness.



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