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.

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Purpose of the Church

Guest blog by Bishop Jesse T. Peck (1811 – 1883):

We have numerous organizations for the improvement of society — for the production of wealth — for the gratification of ambition — for the relief of human suffering; but only one for the promotion of holiness. We know of no other that professes to "purify the heart." What strange infatuation, then, it, must be to secularize this system! — to bring it down from the lofty purposes to which it was consecrated, and appropriate it to the service of worldly glory, and force it to gratify a lust for power. Wherever this has been done, it cannot be deemed strange that "blasting and mildew" have followed in the train. Indeed, nothing is easier now than to explain the slow progress of Christianity, the feebleness of its disciples, and the reproach which has so often fallen upon the church. Would that all Christians might be agreed upon this one thing — to consider Christianity as set apart to the work of purifying the hearts and lives of men. For all other purposes there are associations enough, while in the range of human thought there is no other that has the slightest claim to adaptation to produce this result. Precisely this is the desideratum of the times; and not until it is supplied shall we see the church shining in her own pure light, and moving on in the greatness of her strength to the conquest of the world. Happy is he who contributes, even in the smallest degree, to this glorious result.

The Central Idea of Christianity.