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Relational Holiness: Responding to the Call of Love Paperback – June 15, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

MICHAEL LODAHL is a professor of theology at Point Loma Nazarene University. An ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene, he has served congregations in California, Georgia, and Idaho. He received his PhD in theological studies from Emory University and has studied extensively in Israel and Jordan. Lodahl and his wife, Janice, live in San Diego. Thomas Jay Oord, Ph.D., has earned degrees in religion and philosophy from Northwest Nazarene University, Nazarene Theological Seminary, and Claremont Graduate University, as well as having pursued post-doctoral work at Harvard Divinity School. Oord serves on the executive council of the Wesleyan Theological Society and has served as President of the Wesleyan Philosophical Society. Oord is an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene. After teaching philosophy three years at Eastern Nazarene College, Oord currently teaches theology and philosophy at Northwest Nazarene University.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City (June 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0834121824
  • ISBN-13: 978-0834121829
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,029,556 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Patrick L. Mccartney on March 17, 2007
Format: Paperback
As the doctrine of Christian Holiness moves well into the background of popular western culture, a few die-hards still wonder what it all means (or meant). Oord and Lodahl take Mildred Wynkoop's view of holiness and develop it for the evangelical mind. They maintain that holiness is a God-centered relationship based on Divine Love. It is working for well-being in each and every one of life's situations. In advocating this approach, they avoid the extremes of Richard Taylor's insistence on holiness as a spiritual crisis that drives the believer into radical self-abandonment and total surrender to the cleansing power of the Holy Spirit. While Taylor may have been a bit of a radical, no one who ever knew him ever doubted his passion. For their part, Oord and Lodahl make holiness seem attainable and, one may say, even reasonable(?). A worthwhile read.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John M. Hanna on September 17, 2008
Format: Paperback
The authors embark on the bold assertion that love is "the core notion of holiness", the sum of all theological, philosophical, historical, practical, and ultimately Biblical expressions of holiness. In his book "The Theology of John Wesley," Kenneth Collins says that the deficiency of Oord and Lodahl's position is that holiness is not on equal par with love. I do believe however that Oord and Lodahl are on track with giving us a glimpse of what a postmodern holiness theology can look like, as well as grounding holiness in the concept of love, specifically, relational love. I did feel the book was far too simplistic for what they were trying to accomplish. Realizing that the book was not intended to be scholarly by any means, it still easily could have been three times longer so as to better assist the adventurer/traveler (their motif) where the authors wanted to take us. I look forward to more from this dynamic duo.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Glen O'Brien on June 22, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a fairly lightweight book that is accurate in its central thesis that love is the organizing centre of the doctrine of holiness, but weak in that it does not provide a solid theological treatment of the topic. The stress on a Trinitarian view of holiness is welcome but not sufficiently developed here. The book is aimed at a general lay readership and is pitched reasonably well at that audience I suppose but both authors are capable of much more serious writing. It is a book typical of the crisis in the Wesleyan-Holiness churches over the doctrine of sanctification. Having given up on the simplistic formulas of nineteenth century second blessing formualtions of the teaching, no adequate substitute has yet been found. Much that is said here might be found in a book by an evangelical of any particular theological tradition or none. There are a few distinctively Wesleyan insights but the tradition still awaits a contemporary formulation of its core doctrine. The reading lists at the end of each chapter provide valuable clues for further reading. PS Does a book that is 140 pages long really need two forwards and two prefaces?
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful By V. Phin on July 30, 2008
Format: Paperback
I'm afraid I found this book poorly-written; however, there are some nuggets inside.

Written with all the finesse of a high school essay, this booklet embraces a simplistic understanding of postmodernism in that it is merely "relational." Relational, here, would be to think in terms of human interconnectivity. Talking about things in terms in relationality is fine -- saying it's the sum-total of postmodernism is not.

The writing made me wince repeatedly. Good citation is lacking, though there are suggested readings at the end. Language such as "a report finds" and "some say" should make any concise writer raise his or her eyebrows. WHICH report? WHO says? Phrases such as "most people don't know" or "a child would think" is condescending. The book itself is told in a wait-until-we-tell-you method that isn't appropriate in an academic work. I was so turned off by the first two chapters, I barely had the motivation to continue.

If you do get through these issues, however, there are some pearls. The author's contention that holiness is love and that we are most perfect when we serve our purpose -- to love in a community, to love the good things of creation, and to love in repayment for evil -- is soul-reaching. The holiness adventuring party metaphor for a group of people walking down the path of life -- aiding each other, following a trail blazed by the Creator -- is a compelling one. And I was gratified to see that they brought in the clear translation of Greek text, in that "you ALL are God's temple."

I'm sure the authors are clever chaps. But I may seriously consider some of the ideas they have mentioned, I can't take this book seriously.
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I really enjoyed this book. It makes the case for the core basis of holiness being love based on the relationships within the trinity. Easy to read style. Some helpful history background but not too much. Good discussion of the issue without being overly academic. A necessary book for the church today to pull us all away from a punitive, justice approach. I will be encouraging others in the church to read it.
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By David M. Shipley on February 6, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book will get you thinking of more than just personal purity. They give holiness a 3 dimensional sense, though much of the content will challenge the reader.
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