Friday, June 03, 2011

The Keswickian View of Sanctification

INTRODUCTION:  I have had several folks ask me about the ministry of Ellerslie and the ministry of Eric and Leslie Ludy.  The Ludy's hold to what is known as a Keswickian view of sanctification, which grew out of the Keswick revival movement from the latter half of the 19th century.  Below is a response to a popular video that has made the rounds on the internet from the Ludy's and their Keswickian view of sanctification.

Here's the video:



Here's my response to it and the faulty view of sanctification implicit within it:

Hi XXXXX,

The video is truly encouraging, but after watching this video @ the 1:30 mark (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWEgt729Uvw&feature=related) it appears that they have a Keswickian view of sanctification, which is a theology of sanctification that became popular in the late 19th century. See p. 5 on this document for details so that you can compare the different views of sanctification:

http://dbts.edu/pdf/rls/NaselliHandout.pdf

The Biblical view is that when you are saved you not only get forgiveness of sins but you also automatically get "something more", which is the new heart. That new heart will cause you to walk in God's statutes and forsake your idols (Ezek. 36:25-27) albeit imperfectly. This means that sanctification is steadily progressive and inevitable for all Christians.

The Keswick view can lead to a defeatest mentality due to the frustration and despair caused by people not progressing in sanctification the way the Keswickian view says they should. It can also lead to the idea that there are second-class Christians (i.e., defeated & carnal vs. sanctified and victorious), which often promotes spiritual pride and elitism.

Nevertheless, they take a strong stand against many of the apostate movements in broader evangelicalism.  For example, their doctrinal statement is not only theologically sound as it pertains to the nature of God and the gospel message, but it also strongly condemns the Emergent church view of Scripture:
We outright oppose the Emergent notions of our day that challenge the divinity of Scripture and that recast the nature of the Bible as simple narrative. Whereas the Bible certainly includes story, it is much more than a mere testimony of the past, it is an authoritative, governing guide and rule of Kingdom Law for the present and it supernaturally contains a complexity of heavenly Truth that can be trolled only with a humble, contrite, trembling dependence upon the Spirit of Almighty God.  (http://www.ellerslie.com/StatementOfBelief.html)
On the same page, they gloriously affirm Lordship salvation over and against the easy-believism prevalent in many evangelical churches. They also stand against the Emergent church heresy which teaches that we can believe in Jesus and adore idols:
We wholly reject the notion that belief in Jesus Christ can fit into a system of faith that does not give Him sole position of control and command over the human life. We believe that the act of yielding to Christ as Lord necessitates a removal of all other systems of religious thought that contradict and undermine the revealed purposes of the rightful King over all. We stand against the modern post-modern ideology of the Emergent Church that suggests Jesus is peaceable with other gods remaining in the human soul while He is doing His transforming of the individual and corporate life.
They also make the following clear statement against postmodernism and Emergent Church philosophy:
We are not seeker sensitive and we are not a post-modern Emergent gathering - we are Canon-minded believers that seek to live out a historic Christianity hallmarked by real-world action, real-world holiness, and real-world joy. (http://www.ellerslie.com/Church_General_Info.html)
Some of Eric Ludy's favorite Christians (Leonard Ravenhill, C.T. Studd, Hudson Taylor, Rees Howells, and Charles Spurgeon - ) were solid, wonderful preachers from the past. As a matter of fact, Leonard Ravenhill is my favorite Arminian. :-) I'd take an Arminian like Ravenhill any day over a cold, yet doctrinally orthodox Calvinist.

All in all, it looks like they are a group of passionate orthodox Christians who are mildly charismatic, Keswickian in their view of sanctification, and love Jesus. Though the Keswickian views are problematic for the reasons noted above, as long as they adhere to their strong, orthodox doctrines of Christ and the gospel, they should warmly welcomed as brothers in Christ, though we would strongly differ with their views of sanctification.