Review: Let Go and Let God? A Survey and Analysis of Keswick Theology

Let Go and Let God? A Survey and Analysis of Keswick TheologyLet Go and Let God? A Survey and Analysis of Keswick Theology by Andrew David Naselli
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Vintage Andy. Straightforward, rigorous, logic not maybe on fire but fueled by it at some deeper level. Exhaustive footnotes. Multiple helpful and clear charts. I think he did an admirable job of staying “objective” with regard to a topic he clearly cares deeply about; his autobiographical preface explains that Keswick theology was harmful for him personally in much the same way it was for J.I. Packer before him. But Andy’s praises for Keswick’s practitioners doesn’t feel half-hearted and obligatory; he knows there was true good in their desire for holiness.

I wouldn’t have tossed around the word “Pelagian” the way Andy did, even though he was critiquing Keswick theology not for the full-on heretical form of Pelagianism but for a soft- or semi-Pelagianism. Warfield did it before him, however, so perhaps I’m the one who’s wrong.

Andy doesn’t profess for this work to be a full exposition of a Reformed view of sanctification, only a critique of Keswick using that standard. To get the full benefit of this dissertation you’ll need to read some of the books he recommends in Appendix E. He got me particularly interested in reading Warfield’s Perfectionism.

This study has contemporary relevance to my very own Facebook feed, and I encourage everyone who can to read it. Didn’t take long. As Andy quoted Warfield, I think, as saying, errors like Keswick hang on in the atmosphere, and I was surprised to see the that some of the things one of my Facebook friends are saying come straight out of this 19th century movement. This book will help me help these friends, and it will help me pursue holiness, too—and for both these things I’m grateful.

Author: Mark Ward

PhD in NT; theological writer for Faithlife; former high school Bible textbook author for BJU Press; husband; father; ultimate frisbee player; member of the body of Christ.

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