The Centrality of Holiness in the Scriptural Vision of Salvation
In many views of salvation, especially Protestant ones, holiness is often marginalized. It is seen as a desideratum, but only as a somewhat incidental state procured by the Cross, to be realized as a reality at death. This view is the result of an inadequate understanding of the relation of the Testaments to each other. It is clear in the Old Testament that the achievement of holiness as a replication of the character of Yahweh in this life is the fundamental issue. The writers of the New Testament assume that this is still the issue, so do not restate it. Rather, they move on to consider the ways in which the Incarnation and the Atonement of Christ address it. This is especially clear in the Gospels and the Epistles. The failure to recognize these truths is one reason for the observed lack of distinctly Christian character in our contemporary society.
Dr. John Oswalt returned to Asbury Theological Seminary in 2009 as visiting distinguished professor of Old Testament. He was a member of the faculty of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School from 1986 to 1989. Oswalt received a M.A. and Ph.D. from Brandeis University. His writings have appeared in Bible encyclopedias, scholarly journals and popular religious periodicals. Many of his articles have dealt with the application of Biblical teachings to modern ethical questions. He has written more than eight books. His most recent book is Lectures in Old Testament Theology: Yahweh is God Alone with Dennis Kinlaw, 2010. He was the Old Testament editor of the Wesley Bible, a study Bible from the Wesleyan perspective published by Thomas Nelson Publishers in 1990. He also served as consulting editor for the New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis (Zondervan, 1997). He was a member of the New International Version translation team, and is currently one of a six-member editorial team that has revised the Living Bible (New Living Translation, 1996), and is continuing the revision process with Tyndale House Publishers.