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David F. Wells

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