Pursuing Holiness Wholeheartedly-The new book release by Rev. Dr. J. Patrick Bowman
Following a holy paper trail…
Throughout the centuries from the time of Christ, the essence of holiness has been preserved in the written word. Writers wrote for the sake of definition, explanation, proclamation, and defense of their subject. Using their unique voices, they posited the most genuine expressions of holiness for their potential readers. These writers’ lives are as varied as the times they lived in, the cultures they came from, the faith communities that surrounded them, and the personalities through which they wrote. Despite the diversity, these writers expressed symbiotic ideas regarding holiness that connect them in a holy paper trail leading back to the first century.
Why diversity is important?
Why is this diversity of thought and words important? Because holiness is not a static object of study fully considered in a single examination at a set point in time. As a concept, holiness has evolved as people from different eras with different theological and philosophical biases have examined and expressed it. As a personal religious experience, holiness is as varied in its form as those who seek to live it out. The concepts and practices of holiness, over the ages, reflect both divergence and congruence. Only a broad outlook of sources has a chance to take it all in, if even possible.
What is the importance of such research and its resulting conclusions?
What is the importance of such research and its resulting conclusions? This volume reinforces the historical validity of holiness thought and practice and its continued influence on contemporary scholarship. Secondly, it shows that holiness is neither ancient nor contemporary but eternal. The difference between the two is a matter of perspective; what God allows man to comprehend and what God maintains as the incomprehensible.
60 + sources from the first century to the present. Sources include Church Fathers, Doctors of the Church, saints, medieval ecclesiastics, Pietists, Puritans, Reformers, Wesleyans, leaders of the First and Second Great Awakenings, Holiness and Pentecostal pioneers, and contemporary wordsmiths, as they interact with holiness.
The methodology adopted for research is a combination of content analysis that considers the writer’s audience, message, motivation, and the historical context of their work—the who, what, and why often determined by the when. A secondary consideration is the writer’s ecclesiastical heritage.
In the first four chapters, we explore the Biblical definition of holiness, contemporary challenges to that definition, God’s self-revelation, and why holiness is important from a scriptural perspective. After these preliminary thoughts, chapters five through eighteen present the writers and writings I hope will inspire you to dig deeper in research yourself.