Utilizing a Reformed Sanctification Framework to Assess and Evaluate C. Peter Wagner’s Doctrine of Sanctification



Through the utilization of John David Trentham’s Inverse Consistency Protocol (ICP) as a methodological paradigm to define, reflect on, evaluate, and assess Wagner’s philosophy of discipleship, this thesis demonstrates that C. Peter Wagner’s philosophy of discipleship is incongruent with an articulated Reformed doctrine of sanctification and paradigm of discipleship and sanctification. This work (1) introduces and employs an articulated paradigm of discipleship, Virtuous Christian Discipleship (VCD), to access and evaluate Wagner’s doctrine of sanctification and (2) introduces the term commissional catechetical confessionalism to further articulate a redemptive and confessional doctrine of sanctification for a biblical perspective on human learning, growth, and development in light of the imago Dei. VCD endeavors to strengthen the church’s commitment to the practice of a biblical model of discipleship. Chapter 1 introduces the need for research. The following two chapters follow the first step of ICP, which identifies and asserts the normative biblical priorities of a Reformed biblical-theological system (chap. 2) and the Reformed doctrine of sanctification (chap. 3). Chapters 4 and 5 follow the second step of ICP, which summarizes with precision and intellectual honesty the writings of Wagner (1952–2016) concerning his articulation of the doctrine of sanctification. Chapter 6 follows the third step of ICP, which provides a critical and charitable reflection of Wagner’s theology, axioms, and praxes by expounding the conclusions of this research and articulating the implications of Wagnerian theology on discipleship praxes and ethics. Lastly, this study’s appropriative dimension determines that understanding Wagner’s longings that led to his definition of disciple and philosophy of discipleship helps us become more aware of how we are affected by the same longings, whether pragmatic or consumeristic tendencies, and how those are very relevant in our own context.