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The Bible is void of emotional concepts that we call “feelings”; rather the early Church identified spiritual influences as the cause of ones countenance. For example Galatians 5:22 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness". Today most of this list is believed to be emotions that are not generally sourced from above.

When and why did this transition take place in Church History?

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closed as unclear what you're asking by David Stratton, Narnian, Thomas Shields, wax eagle Jul 16 '13 at 15:15

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I'm sorry, I can't understand what is being asked here. Can you provide a little background of what you are asking about? –  Mawia Jul 2 '13 at 12:51
@Mawia Hopefully the edits will help –  Rick Jul 2 '13 at 14:25
I see emotional concepts/expressions throughout Scripture; Jesus Himself seems to have been an emotional person. Do you mean the early church did not seem to rely on their emotions as is common today? –  Ryan Frame Jul 2 '13 at 15:31
What does "spiritual influences of countenance" mean? Can you re-write that to be clear? –  Chelonian Jul 2 '13 at 16:12
@Chelonian, I tried to reword above, hopefully this helps: "Church identified spiritual influences as the cause of ones countenance" –  Rick Jul 2 '13 at 20:48

1 Answer 1

The best work on this is undoubtedly Jonathan Edwards's Religious Affections. In that book, he makes a painstaking case that emotions are not a reliable indicator in any way whatsoever of true religious experience. Interestingly, Edwards's work came before the late 1800's, when the emotional revivalism of people such as Charles Finney became so much more influential than the perceived coldness of Calvinism.

I agree with Ryan Frame that the Bible has plenty of emotion in it. In addition, I would argue that the Bible does not regard those emotions as good indicators of your standing with God. They are simply a normal part of being human.

Perhaps other churches are different, but my church does not regard the Fruits of the Spirit as emotions. They are virtues. That is, they are character traits of a person that affect how he behaves. The Holy Spirit works in a person's heart to produce that fruit. See Phil. 2:12-13.

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