Discipleship Dissonance: Toward a Theology of Imperfection amidst the Pursuit of Holiness

Bibliographic Information: 

Nelson, Peter K. “Discipleship Dissonance: Toward a Theology of Imperfection amidst the Pursuit of Holiness.” Journal of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care 4.1 (Spring 2011) 63-92.

This study examines selected NT texts and themes in order to probe and give fresh expression to the tension between the Christian’s call to holiness and the fact of indwelling sin. Exegetical treatment of the Lord’s Prayer (Matt 6:9-13) as well as 1 Corinthians 10:6-14 (with special reference to “way of escape” in v 13) brings into focus the problem under consideration: in what sense does the NT speak with one voice to set forth a model for spiritual life and growth? Further, how can a genuine longing for godliness and a realistic sense of personal weakness and sin coexist within one’s soul without producing spiritual schizophrenia? The proposed solution involves exploring a paradox of Christian maturity, namely, the more you grow, the more you sense your need for further spiritual maturation. Along these lines we are able to show how seemingly divergent biblical trajectories do indeed come together on the horizon of the path of spiritual formation and discipleship.

Publisher: 
Journal of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care