Intro

This blog gains its name from the book Steele's Answers published in 1912. It began as an effort to blog through that book, posting each of the Questions and Answers in the book in the order in which they appeared. I began the project on Dec. 10, 2011. I completed it on July 11, 2015. Along the way, I began to also post snippets from Dr. Steele's other writings — and from some other holiness writers of his times. I still do that every once in a while.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Why Wesleyans Do Not Speak of "Sinless Perfection"

QUESTION: Why do Wesleyan advocates of Christian perfection decline the phrase, "sinless perfection"?

ANSWER: "I do not contend for the term 'sinless,'" said Wesley, "though I do not object against it." He gave no reasons, except that it would be misunderstood and be a stumbling block to those whose definition of sin includes all innocent infirmities, all mistakes, all failures to realize our perfect ideals of character and usefulness, all thoughts of evil; and some include all temptations to sin. Such a perfection we must not expect in the present life. Therefore the term "sinless" should be applied only to him who could confidently say, "Which of you convicteth me of sin?" No one who has ever sinned can apply this adjective to himself. But according to I John 3:9, every one may lead an unsinning career from his new birth onward through time and eternity by the grace of God appropriated by faith.

Steele's Answers pp. 112, 113.