I’m reading Almost Christian: What the Faith of Our Teenagers is Telling the American Church by Kenda Creasy Dean. She has a great explanation for what holiness means. It’s not anything new, but it is well-stated and succinctly put:
Holiness—a word that implies justice, kindness, and humility before God (Micah 6:8) but that somehow got shrink-wrapped inside twentieth-century Protestant piety—means to be “set apart” for God. Holiness is another word of sanctification, a life conformed to the self-giving love of Jesus Christ, God-made-flesh who came into the world to save it. Holiness enacts the gospel’s missionary impulse, the result of news too life-giving to keep to ourselves. — Kenda Creasy Dean
With an understanding like that, it’s no wonder that the early Methodists sought “to spread scriptural holiness over the land.” For too long we’ve been content to settle for less.