Holiness Heartbeat was started by Justin Singleton about 7 years ago, as a website, Christian podcast (some of which is still available here) and a Facebook page. In time, Justin felt God’s calling to continue his education (he’s a pretty awesome archaeologist – check out his website), and asked me (Steve Oliver) to take over Holiness Heartbeat. Honestly, I didn’t have a clear vision for what Holiness Heartbeat should be, and so I eventually shut the website down, though the Facebook page continued to function.
Fast forward to now: I have my PhD in New Testament Interpretation, pastor the Troy Holiness Church in Troy, MO, and have come to feel the need of a place to discuss issues related to today’s holiness movement. I’m aware that these issues are being dealt with in preaching, as they should be – but sermons by their very nature do not lend themselves to discussion. And in a sermon, it’s easy for a preacher to present his opinion on an issue as authoritative, thus cutting off any opportunity for needed discussion. There is also discussion swirling on social media, but it has its own weaknesses: depending on who is posting and moderating the discussion, it’s easy for the discussion to degenerate into personal attacks. Perhaps in an attempt to avoid this, people will sometimes preface their remarks with “I don’t want to be controversial” (which in my experience, usually means “I don’t want anyone to disagree with me”). This creates an “echo chamber” effect, where all the voices in the discussion already agree, and so simply reinforce rather than examine and refine their views. Finally, issues are often discussed in private conversations, and this is necessary as well. But there comes a point when public conversation is needed, and I believe that, with the variety and seriousness of the issues facing the holiness movement, we need a public or semi-public forum for open, respectful debate.
So, here are the ground rules:
- This is a discussion forum. Debate and disagreement are acceptable; personal attacks are not. If a comment contains a personal attack or disrespectful statements, one of the following will happen:
- If the disrespect seems to be unintentional, I may leave the original comment but add my own response, pointing out the disrespect. We are here to learn, and learning how to debate respectfully takes practice.
- If the disrespect is severe or seems intentional, the comment will be deleted.
- Repeated violations will get the commenter banned.
- This is an idea-focused forum. If you comment (and I hope you will!), do your best to understand what the other person is saying and what they mean, not just what you want them to mean. Expect your comments to be analysed, clarified and discussed – respectfully. This can be intimidating if you aren’t used to it, but once you realize that here, we discuss ideas rather than attack people, it can also be exhilarating.
- This is a holiness forum. While questions from any perspective are acceptable, all blog posts will be from a conservative Wesleyan-Arminian perspective, and any ensuing discussion will also be from that perspective.
- This is a Scripture-based forum. We hold that Scripture is both inerrant and infallible. Bear in mind, though: while Scripture is authoritative, our interpretation of Scripture is not.