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.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Do Humans Have a Spirit?

QUESTION: what does Wesley mean in his note on 1 Thes. 5:23, where he denies that spirit is a constituent part of man, and says that "adventitious, and the supernatural gift of God to be found in Christians only"?

ANSWER: He teaches that body and soul constitute man. He does not believe there are three distinct essentials in man, but two only, that the human spirit is not an entity, but the soul's capacity to be quickened into spiritual life by the life-giving Holy Spirit received by faith in Jesus Christ. Wesley means that spirituality cannot be predicated of the natural man before regeneration. He had no sympathy with the widely spreading modern error that immortality is not of nature, but is the gift of God for believers only. He believed in the eternal punishment of the finally impenitent rejector of Christ. Of modern contemporary theologians Holsten and Weiss deny the existence of a πνεῦμα (pneuma, spirit) in the natural man, thus confirming Wesley's doctrine.

— from Steele's Answers pp. 55, 56.