Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2006


The doctrine of Christian Perfection is viewed by some as a wonderful and liberating doctrine, but by others it is seen as producing false expectations and guilt. John Wesley, the first major theologian to develop a theology of Christian Perfection, encountered misunderstandings and problems with this doctrine. He wrote and preached to correct the misunderstandings. Unfortunately, misunderstandings persist and sometimes have psychological effects on individuals. This article explores common understandings, beliefs, and experiences regarding Christian Perfection among evangelical Christians from the holiness tradition. The material was gathered by means of interviews that were recorded. The interviews were then studied by a theologian and by a clinical psychologist in order to examine how close the beliefs were to Wesley's position and what psychological implications were contained in both the beliefs and the experiences related to the belief of those interviewed.


Originally published in The Journal of Pastoral Care and Counseling, 60 (3) Fall, 2006