Quaker Perfectionism

Quaker and Wesleyan Perfection

Vaughn Stehr, George Fox Evangelical Seminary, 2009

When considering the vast expanse of church history there are a myriad of doctrines, beliefs, and traditions which have troubled and perplexed congregations and scholars. Of all the various points of difficulty one which has been extremely troublesome has been the debate between faith and works. History is replete with pendulum swings from one extreme to the other. It is the conundrum of orthodoxy vs. orthopraxy. This was the question in mind when people responded to the question of Christian perfection. Two movements which stand out when considering this doctrine are the Quakers and the Methodists. Both founders, George Fox and John Wesley, believed in and promoted this ideal. This paper will discuss the environments into which each was birthed, compare and contrast their earliest stated beliefs, and finally state how this doctrine is important to the church today.

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