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A Perfect Life: A Plain Account of Christian Perfection

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  188 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Ever wonder what it would be like to live "a perfect life"? People have been pondering that question for years. Christians have gone so far as to say "there is no perfection on earth." But what if that was not quite the truth? What if you could live the perfect life? What would it take? Bo Cassell's modern-day paraphrase of John Wesley's classic A Plain Account of Christia ...more
Paperback, 93 pages
Published December 23rd 2004 by Barefoot Ministries (first published January 1st 1844)
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Alex Stroshine
"A Plain Account of Christian Perfection" is not as plain as it would seem. I found John Wesley (whom I greatly admire) to be defensive throughout the book, as opponents of his sharply spoke out against his doctrine of Christian perfection. Just what is Christian perfection exactly? Some have said that Wesley did not believe perfection meant to be without sin but on pg. 125 Wesley writes, "I do not contend for the term sinless, though I do not object against it." There appears to be a lot of qui ...more
John Barbour
Jun 12, 2013 John Barbour rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All Christians
This is an excellent book that I used as a devotional. It is a compilation of John Wesley's reflections on the subject of entire sanctification from the years 1722-1777. Christian perfection or entire sanctification is loving God with all of your heart soul, mind, and strength and loving your neighbor as yourself.

The idea of entire sanctification is in contrast to the idea of total depravity. Even as sin had affected every area of our lives before Christ; so in Christ, God desires us to be sanct
Richard Cleary
I don't understand Wesley's doctrine of "Christian perfection" as a doctrine advocating his own or any believers perfect sinlessness in this age. He never seemed to deny that possibility, but it wasn't his teaching. I would deny that possibility. Because he wasn't teaching sinlessness, I don't think the word "perfect" was or is helpful in teaching what he did. To his credit, the King James Bible (and others) does apply at least once or more the word "perfect" to men who are not sinless, but whol ...more
Wesley lays out his argument for Christian perfection, explaining what it is and what it is not. Responding to critics, he argues it is not an absolute perfection (it does not mean the Christian knows everything God knows). It also does not mean no more growth is possible, the Christian continues to grow in love. Another thing it does not mean is that the Christian no longer relies on grace, actually the Christian who is perfected in love relies on grace more. Simply put then, Christian perfecti ...more
like the title says, this book lays out the ideas surrounding living in perfection in this life. while the author shies away from the term "sinless living," it's what he means.

he does allow that someone who found their way into christian perfection would still be subject to making mistakes.

when i first asked my ex-pastor about this idea i was sure there was no such thing. he surprised me and suggested the book. i read it and wesley does make his case. my ex-pastor said that if someone came into
A really good explanation of the much misunderstood concept of Christian Perfection and Entire Sanctification. While most people criticize the ideas, it's hard to argue with Wesley's analysis of growth in love and the holiness it results in. He never argues for sinless perfection, he argues for a life so filled with love that the desire to sin is eclipsed by the love of God.
This was an intriguing read for me. I read it with an open mind because I hadn't studied this doctrine heavily at all, but when I finished it I was quite confused. I think if Wesley had chosen a word other than “perfection” to describe what he is alluding to, it would be much less of an issue. He never states that some Christians are incapable of making mistakes; in fact, he blatantly states that he does not believe that. But the word “perfection” definitely leaves that impression if not explain ...more
Wanted to read this because I'm joining a Church of the Nazarene, a Wesleyan-Holiness denomination, in a few months. Wesley's account of Christian Perfection - a distinct Wesleyan doctrine which is defined by Wesley as:

"The loving [of] God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. This implies, that no wrong temper, none contrary to love, remains in the soul; and that all the thoughts, words, and actions are governed by pure love."

I found myself in general agreeing with Wesley. He is often m
Sylvan Finger
John Wesley wrote his theology rather clearly. Lutherans struggle with what Wesley means my "Christian Perfection" My take on it is that once people become Christian they are to strive for perfection. However, what would Paul say to this as he wrote in Romans 7(:15) "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do." Yet Paul says in Romans 12(:1) "offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God."
Michael Laflamme
Starts out well and quite inspiring but soon becomes muddy and not a little self indulgent.
Joshua Foote
Merely ok

I bought this to try and find out John Wesley's much maligned theology of Christian perfection. I still don't really see where he stands on this and mainly because I don't agree with the theology. the book format was hard to follow as it was a q&a with I don't know who or why and also half a normal book but seemed to switch back and forth
Thomas Kinsfather
Wesley argues that when a believer is dedicated to following Christ he will cease from sinning. Wesley claims to have attained this pinnacle himself as well as several of his friends.

This book is a classic example of ungrace, guilt, and spiritual elitism. It offers no hope for those struggling in sin. The implication is that you have failed as a Christian is sin is still present in your life in any way. The Apostle John is clear that John Wesley is lying when he claims to be sinlessly perfect.
Very good. A challenging read, and an important work on sanctification. Not sure I entirely agree with some of the detail, but I do think that God does transform us, and I suppose he can completely sanctify us.
This book challenged my view of what a perfect Christian is. Though I still am not sure I believe all that is written, it definitely made me think.
What does it mean to be perfect as a Christian? (to love God and love your neighbor)
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John Wesley is recognized as the founder of Methodism. An acclaimed preacher, Wesley travelled extensively on horseback and drew large crowds for his outdoor sermons. A contemporary of William Wilberforce, Wesley was a strong voice opposing slavery in England and the United States. His influence upon modern Christianity can be seen by the large number of Methodist organizations in the Wesleyan tra ...more
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“Even in the greatest afflictions, we ought to testify to God, that, in receiving them from his hand, we feel pleasure in the midst of the pain, from being afflicted by Him who loves us, and whom we love.” 8 likes
“The readiest way which God takes to draw a man to himself is, to afflict him in that he loves most, and with good reason; and to cause this affliction to arise from some good action done with a single eye; because nothing can more clearly show him the emptiness of what is most lovely and desirable in all the world.” 5 likes
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