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Reformed tradition teaches that human beings are totally depraved, and cannot even come to faith without God's assistance. Their reason rejects God's supremacy, their will refuses God's invitation, and their emotion recoils against God's goodness. This is because human beings are born "in Adam", who "died" spiritually because of the Fall and we live under the power of sin.

But once God "breathes" spiritual life into the elect, and the elect then comes to faith and becomes conscious of his/her new status in Christ, the elect is now in the sanctification stage working with the grace of the Holy Spirit to become more and more reformed in character. Then after death, in the elect's glorification stage I assume he/she will live eternally like the perfect human Jesus with full functioning reason, will, and emotion as originally created in the image of God, similar to how Jesus lived on earth without original sin (see Nathaniel's answer to another question).

My question is: since we are in the "already, but not yet" stage, can we expect progressive recovery / healing in our reason, will, and emotion considering that the telos of our redemption is to go back to the original design as exhibited in the perfect humanity of Jesus? In other words, since the goal of God's redemptive work is to "Un-Fall" us, and since we are already justified, wouldn't it make sense to expect palpable progress in our earthly experience of our reason, will, and emotion?

I would like a documented answer quoting Reformed theologians (past or present) who explicitly associate reason, will, and emotion to sanctification.

  • Are you essentially asking if holiness theology is compatible with Reformed theology? – curiousdannii Jun 10 at 23:29
  • @curiousdannii That's a very good question. I found this excellent resource analyzing the movement through history, which I'm going to read. In my perception, Holiness movement tends to be grouped with crisis-conversion, revival, emotionalism, entire sanctification, etc. whose description are rarely associated with the recovery of pre-fall reason, will, and emotion (which Aquinas did associate with his theory of virtues). So for the moment, the answer is no. – GratefulDisciple Jun 11 at 0:18
  • Or just more narrowly to ask if entire sanctification is compatible? (Sorry, I'm not really familiar with all those other parts of the Holiness movement.) And sorry, but the question looks a little muddled - the title asks about "before death", but the second last paragraph looks like it's asking about our post-resurrection nature? – curiousdannii Jun 11 at 0:21
  • @curiousdannii Thanks for the editing suggestion. Once I read that resource, I'll update it with why the question is different than holiness movement and more tied to Aquinas's theory of virtues. – GratefulDisciple Jun 11 at 0:39
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    Great edit, thanks. Also, this sentence is superb: "Their reason rejects God's supremacy, their will refuses God's invitation, and their emotion recoils against God's goodness." Is that original? – curiousdannii Jun 11 at 0:42

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