Plain Account of Christian Perfection - Review
John Wesley is an important figure of Church history. He has influenced modern Christian in many ways. His views on holiness and religious experience have been the founding principles of several denominations. He wrote a book titled, A Plain Account of Christian Perfection that describes an original take on sanctification. The book begins: “What I purpose in the following papers is, to give a plain and distinct account of the steps by which I was led, during a course of many years, to embrace the doctrine of Christian perfection.” What follows is exactly that: a play-by-play account of Wesley’s views on sanctification. The end result of Wesley’s theology is something he refers to as Christian Perfection. (I have written on this topic before and anyone interested can check it out here.)
This work is over two hundred years old and requires special attention. I would suggest reading an annotated copy of Wesley’s book to help ease the burden of translation. The book is not beyond comprehension in its natural form. It is laid out in a logical style that is both refreshing and intelligent. The reader will encounter a series of numbered points that make up Wesley’s argument. They are constructed from personal testimony, exegetical discourse and even series of popular questions and answers. No effort is spared to explain Christian Perfection to Wesley’s audience. The end result is an interesting and convincing discussion on the ability of Christ followers to become perfect.
I would recommend reading this book for those willing to do some studying. It is not a casual or particular fun read. It is, however, an insightful discourse on an influential perspective on Christian living. Wesley’s key role in the development of Christian through is undeniable. Regardless of your denominational persuasion I believe that An Account of Christian Perfection will be an interesting and challenging read.