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 started this on Dec. 10, 2011. I completed blogging from that book 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. Since then, I have begun adding material from his Bible commentaries. I also re-blog many of the old posts.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Is Self-Loathing Piety Necessary?

Growth in grace, while accompanied by increasing power to abstain from actual sin, has no power to annihilate the spirit of sin, commonly called original sin. The revelation of its indwelling is more and more perfect and appalling as we advance from conversion.

Hence, in Calvinistic writings especially, we find that the measure of true piety is self-abhorrence. The more entire the consecration, the more vile in their own eyes do eminent saints appear. This standard of piety is a peculiarity of all the truly devout souls who were taught to believe that there is no power to deliver from inborn depravity this side of the grave. To these persons a piety which is not self-loathing and self-condemning is as contradictory as a piety which is not penitent.

But the sinless Jesus exhibited the marvelous proof of an impenitent piety. May not they who have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb stand forth, even on earth, as specimens of a piety which glorifies God without self-vilification? Does God get the highest revenue of glory from us while we perpetually proclaim that the blood of Christ fails to reach the root of evil in our natures? If not, then the self-loathing style of piety, like that of David Brainerd in his early ministry, who saw so much corruption in his heart that he wondered the people did not stone him out of the pulpit, is a mere initial and rudimentary form, reflecting not the highest honor upon its Author.

Love Enthroned, Chapter 18.

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