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Holiness

The Centrality of Holiness to Christian Faith: Why Holiness Has Become Irrelevant in Postmodern Religion by David F. Wells, Andrew Muctch Distinguished Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and author of numerous books including Losing Our Virtue: Why the Church Must Recover Its Moral Vision.  Wells writes, "The greatest dangers to evangelical faith, I believe, lie as much in what we do know as in what we don't.  They lie not only in the doctrinal fog represented on many a church pew each Sunday but also in the great truths of Christian faith which are professed on those same pews but which, nonetheless, now lie dormant."   Wells examines the meaning of "the Holy".  He writes, What the holiness of God means is rather clear: it is what it means to us that is problematic and obscure."   Wells argues that we define life in terms of the therapeutic.  "We now translate many of life's wrongs into diseases; we focus these in the self; we think that our remedy can be found within; and,...insofar as there is a religious dimension to all of this, it takes the form of recasting God as the source of our inner healing."  Wells examines the "Disappearance of Sin" and the needed remedy of biblical preaching.  "The God of Calvin and Luther has, in these sermons, disappeared.  In his place is one far less transcendent, far more mellow, one who feels our pain as any good Boomer might, and who is so much more user-friendly."  Mar/Apr 1998 Theology Matters p. 1

A Word of Hope for a Church in Pain: Biblical and Theological Dimensions of Ecclesiastical Discipline by Teresa M. McAnally, PCUSA pastor.  Examining the role of discipline in a believer's life and in the church's life, McAnally looks at, "A Necessary Component of Human Development" "The Act of a Loving God" ,"Ecclesiastical Discipline as Loving Legacy of the Holy Spirit" ,"The State of Discipline in the Church Today".   Mar/Apr 1998 Theology Matters  p. 6

by Wolfhart Pannenberg, reprinted with permission from First Things Journal, February 1998, No. 80, pp. 26-30.  Pannenberg writes, "It may well be the case that the moral crisis of modern secular societies is attributable to the fact that God is no longer publicly recognized as the source of moral norms...Historical experience demonstrates that, for societies and for individuals, the autonomy of reason cannot successfully replace the authority of God. In this respect Rousseau is fully vindicated.  As is Dostoevsky, whose Ivan Karamazov observed that, without God, "everything is permitted."  Pannenberg's solution to the moral dilemma begins with a renewal of Christian morality in the Christian community.  Mar/Apr 1998 Theology Matters p. 8

When Everything is Permitted 

The Discipline of the Church: Its Chief Use in Censures and Excommunication by John Calvin, reprinted from the Institutes of the Christian Religion ed. by John McNeil (Library of Christian Classics Series.  Used by permission of WJK Press, Book IV, Chapter XII, 1-5, pp 1229-1234.  Calvin addresses the necessity and nature of church discipline; stages of church discipline; the purpose of church discipline, and the limits of our judgment according to church discipline,  Mar/Apr 1998 Theology Matters  p. 12