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Radical RighteousnessRadical Righteousness: Personal Ethics and the Development of the Holiness Movement (343 pages) was written by Wallace Thornton, Jr. and published in 1998 by Schmul Publishing Company.  It may be purchased from the publisher at  This book traces various emphases regarding behavioral standards throughout church history, particularly in the Wesleyan tradition, including stewardship, submission, and separation.  It focuses on the mid-twentieth century development of what is commonly referred to as the Conservative Holiness Movement.  However, the ideals treated have relevance for all Christian communions.  Following are a few endorsements:

“The writer is thorough and quite balanced in ferreting out details which throw light on events and developments.  Thornton’s theological stature is revealed in his thoughtful and very appropriate conclusions.” – Dr. Richard S. Taylor, Professor Emeritus of Theology and Missions, Nazarene Theological Seminary

“Excellent!  Very interesting, and very well written…  Thoroughly enjoyed reading it.  Felt I was re-living much of the past.” – Rev. Thomas Reed, former Moderator, Wesleyan Tabernacle Association

“Professor Thornton has provided the Holiness Movement with a rare and valuable work.  Even those who disagree with the basic premise of the study, or who find themselves uncomfortable dealing with the standard issue, will find this a necessary tool in gaining a full historical perspective on the development of Wesleyan Holiness theology.  Both the writer’s style and the long overdue need for such a study as this insure that this work will live on for years to come.” – Dr. Marlin R. Hotle, Executive Director, Christian Holiness Partnership (formerly CHA)

“… Well researched, well documented, well written and thoroughly scholarly in its presentation of behavioral standards.” – Dr. Michael R. Avery, President, God’s Bible School and College

“In this perceptive study, Wallace Thornton surveys the dramatic changes in the American holiness movement during the mid-twentieth century.  With fairness and with skill, he notes how ‘mainstream’ groups accommodated those changes and how determined traditionalists resisted them.  In the subsequent realignment, thousands of earnest believers–both lay and clergy–joined ‘come out’ bodies claiming loyalty to Wesleyan tradition.  This is a colorful story, often moving and sometimes depressing, but always fascinating; and Thornton tells it in a colorful and memorable way.” – Dr. Larry D. Smith, Editor, God’s Revivalist

“Professor Thornton has done a great service to the Wesleyan/Holiness movement, in general, and to the conservative holiness movement, in particular, in this excellent historical study. …  I heartily recommend this book to church leaders, ministers, Bible college professors, and sincere seekers after truth.” – Dr. Robert England, from the Foreword to Radical Righteousness

“Three elements of Thorntons’s work are especially noteworthy.  First, Thornton provides an important corrective to the tendency toward uncritical, and frequently ahistorical, celebration of the so-called progressive social ethics of Wesley and his nineteenth-century Holiness heirs. …  Secondly, Thornton tells the story of the IHC constituency with remarkable impartiality. …  Thirdly, the inclusion of important and rare primary sources in a bibliographic appendix makes this an especially valuable resource for serious scholars of the Wesleyan tradition.” – Dr. William Kostlevy, from the Preface to Radical Righteousness