Naselli on Keswick

In March, Andy Naselli gave a series of lectures on the Early Keswick Movement at Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary. The manuscript of these lectuers will be published in the fall 2008 Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal.

Naselli, who is D. A. Carson's Research Assistant at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School,where he is working on his (second!) Ph.D., did his first doctoral dissertation on "Keswick Theology: A Historical and Theological Survey and Analysis of the Doctrine of Sanctification in the Early Keswick Movement, 1875–1920" (Bob Jones University, 2006). Andy was kind enough to send me a copy, which I am currently working through.

This is a topic of special interest to me because as a young Christian I experienced a lot of frustration and disillusionment in my Christian walk due to some faulty teaching on sanctification, holiness, and being filled with the Spirit that had very similar emphases as the Keswick Theology.

John MacArthur's book, Faith Works: The Gospel According to the Apostles (which you can purchase used on Amazon for only $ 0.23!), was the book the Lord initially used to bring me deliverance from this faulty teaching. I still look back to the reading of this important book as a significant turning point in my theological and spiritual formation.

But back to Naselli and Keswick. Detroit Seminary is hosting the following resources from the lecture series:

Handout (five-page PDF)
Power Point presentation as a PDF (eighty slides with lots of pictures) [12.1 MB]
A Historical and Theological Survey of the Early Keswick Movement (1:10:32)
A Theological Analysis of the Early Keswick Movement - Part 1 (57:20)
A Theological Analysis of the Early Keswick Movement - Part 2 (with Q & A) (49:24)

These lectures are academic, but well worth listening to for anyone interested generally in the doctrine of sanctification or more specifically in the early Keswick movement.


mwh said...

How'd you connect with Naselli? He was a couple of years ahead in me in school, and as a graduate assistant taught a number of the entry level Greek courses.

Although there isn't always a genetic connection, Keswick tendencies still run deep in much of American evangelicalism.

I noticed that your friend Dan Cummings was from DBTS as well.

Brian G. Hedges said...

I first came across Naselli through Justin Taylor's blog. You also mentioned him to me in conversation or e-mail sometime back.

Listening to these lectures was really helpful, so I e-mailed him to get more info on his dissertation.

Good stuff.

cgl said...

Is the terminology of being "filled with the spirit" (not Ephesians) as it is used today, used primarily to describe Keswick theology? In high school I was taught doctrine that included a filling of the spirit seperate from the indwelling but I don't recall it going to the lengths of Keswick.

CityStreams said...

I am so spiritually dense that when I read this title, my first thought was "Nestle Quik." Yum!

Brian G. Hedges said...

cgl, I'm not sure if this is the ansswer to your question, but being filled with the Spirit in Keswick theology (as I understand it) is generally the result of one's entire consecration of oneself to God and taking by faith the blessing of the Spirit's filling with the result that one is "sanctified by faith" (as opposed to striving for holiness) and enters into the victorious/higher/deeper/ "Christ" life. Any kind of effort is looked upon as striving from the flesh rather than depending on the Spirit.

Naselli interacts with this thoroughly in his dissertation, including giving a strong exegetical argument for understanding Eph 5:18 differently, with the Spirit being the agent who fills us with the fullness of God (rather than the Spirit being the content which fills us). This is also the argument of the best commentaries on Ephesians (Hoehner, O'Brien). Naselli also argues that all Christians are filled with the Spirit in varying degrees, and - and this is the fundamental problem with Keswick theology - that there is no fundemental disjuction between justification and sanctification. In other words, all Christians are both justified and are being progressively sanctified.

One other note: Naselli makes clear that his argument is with the early Keswick movement. Today's Keswick convention is more Reformed in their theology with speakers like John Stott, Sinclair Ferguson, etc.