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A Presentation of Perfection

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    THEAGESDIGITAL LIBRARY

    THEOLOGY/HISTORY

    A PRESENTATION

    OF PERFECTIONby Mark S. F. Eckart

    B o o k s Fo r Th e A g e sAGES Software Albany, OR USA

    Electronic Version 1.0 1997

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    A PRESENTATION OF

    PERFECTIONAN HISTORICAL LOOK AT SANCTIFICATION IN THE

    AMERICAN HOLINESS MOVEMENT AND

    SPECIFICALLY IN THE GODS REVIVALIST

    DEDICATION

    Dedicated ToTwo Significant Ladies In My Life:

    My Loving Wife (Debbie)And

    My Godly Mother (Ella)

    Text Copyright 1993, Mark Eckart

    Reprinted by PermissionAll Rights Reserved

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    CONTENTS

    CHAPTER1 INTRODUCTIONStatement of Research Problems

    Assumptions

    Limitations

    Definition

    Research Procedure

    Outcomes

    CHAPTER2 HISTORICAL CONTEXT

    Martin Wells Knapp, 1900-1901, Gods Bible School

    Knapp, Queen, and Story, 1901-1911

    Meredith G. Standley, 1911-1950

    Lloyd R. Day, 1950-1961

    Elmer G. Marsh, 1961-1965

    Samuel E. Deets, 1965-1975

    Bence C. Miller, 1975-PresentSchool Personnel

    TheGods Revivalist

    THE HOLINESS MOVEMENT IN AMERICA

    Methodist Foundations

    Holiness Revival

    Holiness Movement

    Conservative Holiness Movement

    Gods Bible School and the Holiness Movement

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    CHAPTER3DOCTRINAL CONTEXT

    Revival of Holiness

    Holiness Scholars

    Summary

    CHAPTER4METHODOLOGY

    Criteria for Article Selection

    Interpretive Theological Data

    Description of Theological Categories

    Adequacy of Theological Grid as Analytic Tool

    Gods Bible Schools Creedal Statement

    Analysis of Behavioral and Appearance Stance

    Sequence of Analysis

    CHAPTER5 DATA

    An Analysis Of Gods Bible SchoolsHoliness Creedal Statement

    1906-1910

    1930-1934

    1956-1960

    1980-1984

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    CHAPTER6 INTERPRETATION

    Pentecostal-Substantive/1906-1910

    Christological-Substantive/1906-1910Pentecostal-Substantive/1930-1934

    Christological-Substantive/1930-1934

    Pentecostal-Substantive/1956-1960

    Christological-Substantive/1956-1960

    Pentecostal-Substantive/1980-1984

    Christological-Substantive/1980-1984

    Significant Shifts and Emphasis

    CHAPTER7 CONCLUSION

    APPENDIX

    A. Holiness Theological Grid

    B. Holiness Classification Scheme

    C. Article Classification Scheme

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    PREFACE

    This book came about as a result of the dissertation I did for my doctoralstudies. It was interesting and insightful to study historically about thedoctrine of entire sanctification.

    As the book title suggests, this study is comprehensive in that I researchedthe development of the doctrine of sanctification from the time thatMethodism started in America. This manuscript is also specific in that Istudied twenty years of articles in theGods Revivalistconcerningsanctification. The years examined were 1906-1910, 1930-1934, 1956-1960, 1980-1984. Men like Martin Wells Knapp, A. M. Hills, OswaldChambers, Samuel Brengle, E. E. Shelhammer, T. M. Anderson, LeslieWilcox, and H. E. Schmul gave some interesting truths concerning this greatdoctrine of holiness.

    I have endeavored to change some of the language, so this book is not as

    technical as the dissertation. My prayer is that this book will help peopleto better understand the holiness doctrine; but, more importantly, thatthey may come to know the Holy Spirit in His fullness. In other words, tobe entirely sanctified!

    Mark S. F. Eckart

    Cincinnati, Ohio

    J uly 1993

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    CHAPTER 1

    INTRODUCTION

    The American holiness movement arose in a renewal of interest in theWesleyan doctrine of entire sanctification among North AmericanMethodists which spread beyond denominational structure, to includenumerous Christians concerned with social reform and personal piety.1

    Since the late 19th century, a number of denominations, fellowships,connections, schools and colleges, mission organizations, and publicationshave been created to proclaim and present the movements distinctivemessage of entire sanctification. Gods Bible School and the serialpublicationGods Revivalist are examples of these entities established touphold and promote the doctrine of entire sanctification.2

    Gods Bible School was started in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1900 by MartinWells Knapp, a Methodist minister. Affectionately referred to as GBS, theSchool was among the first Bible schools founded in the United States.The original curriculum was a short diploma course of Bible and ministerialpractice. By 1936 the curriculum had developed into a regular four-yearcollegiate course. In 1986 Gods Bible School became an accreditedmember of the American Association of Bible Colleges. In addition to its

    collegiate program the School since 1922 has operated a state-certified highschool and for several years has also offered a non-college creditcorrespondence program.

    The official statement of institutional goals and objectives incorporatesthese various instructional programs with a ministry of publishing. Thestatement reads:

    The aim of Gods Bible School, College and Missionary TrainingHome is to operate a Bible college, Christian high school, and non-collegiate correspondence course as parts of a holiness institution.It also aims to continue to publish high-quality holiness literaturein the traditions of theGods Revivalist and Bible Advocate. Thepurpose of the School includes maintaining and enlarging a

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    constituency through the periodical Gods Revivalist and BibleAdvocate,which has been published since 1888.3

    This statement clearly indicates the function and importance of theGods

    Revivalistto the School. While the periodical was begun before the Schoolstarted, it has been the public voice of the School since 1900.

    The School is interdenominational, but its creedal statement reflects itscommitment to the Wesleyan-Arminian theological position with a firmallegiance to the doctrine of entire sanctification. The spiritual heritage andcommitment of Gods Bible School is evident in all aspects of its

    educational programs and regulates much of the Schools social life. Sincethe School is interdenominational, theGods Revivalist is the means bywhich ties are maintained between the School and its constituency. Therelationship of holiness doctrine, especially entire sanctification, to theimage of the School and the role of theGods Revivalist in communicatingthat image make the presentation of entire sanctification in theGodsRevivalistan important issue to study. Although theGods Revivalist has

    been published for more than one hundred years, its presentation of thedoctrine of entire sanctification has not received a systematic examination.Therefore, a study of articles concerning entire sanctification in theGodsRevivalistcan provide a perspective to understand:

    (1) the development of the doctrine of entire sanctification within theholiness movement, and

    (2) the relationship between explication of the doctrine and the life ofGods Bible School. This project was designed and conducted toexplore these issues.

    STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEMS

    The first research problem is: To what degree has the doctrine of entiresanctification as expressed in articles in theGods Revivalistchangedtheologically during the period 1900-1990. The null hypothesis for thisproblem is: No significant theological change has taken place in thedoctrine of entire sanctification as appearing in theGods Revivalist.

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    The second research problem is: To what degree has the governance, fiscal,and educational condition of Gods Bible School contributed to theexposition of the doctrine of entire sanctification in theGods Revivalist. Itis hypothesized that the condition of the School has had no materialinfluence on the exposition of the doctrine.

    ASSUMPTIONS

    In this study there were also three assumptions that needed to be stated.

    The first assumption was that the doctrine of entire sanctification is

    central to the mission and image of Gods Bible School andGodsRevivalist.

    The second assumption was that theGods Revivalist is significant todeveloping and maintaining the continued existence of Gods Bible School.The constituency base for the College consists largely of the subscribers totheGods Revivalist. In fact, without the funds raised through theGodsRevivalistthe School could not exist, as a large portion of the budget is

    raised annually through the Gods Revivalist.

    The third assumption was that all Gods Revivalistarticles concerningentire sanctification have the approval of the editor and represent theSchools officially sanctioned views of entire sanctification.

    LIMITATIONS

    To help set out the perimeters for this study, there are at least twolimitations.

    First, as the preface of this project suggests, only four segments from theGods Revivalistwere studied. Specific years that were examined are 1906-1910, 1931-1934, 1956-1960, and 1980-1984. It is possible that significantchanges occurred in years not examined in this study.

    Secondly, the articles were evaluated in view of the doctrinal statementabout holiness that Gods Bible School adheres to today. Howev