When John Wesley published his first book of sermons, he intended for his traveling preachers to use it as a guide for their preaching. The sermon “Salvation by Faith,” first preached a month after his Aldersgate experience, is one of those. The sermon was one of the first of Wesley’s I ever read, and it … Continue reading Heathen, Devil, Apostle, Christian
In my previous two posts (1, 2), I looked at some of the motivations for John Wesley’s preaching and his goals in that preaching. In this post, I turn to look at the closing words from the preface to his first series of sermons. Here we find his words to those who believe his theology … Continue reading Can we kindle less of that dreadful light?
In my previous post, I ended with a quote from John Wesley’s introduction to his first series of published sermons. Before I turn to those sermons, I am going to dwell a bit longer — this post and the next one — on some other words Wesley shared in that introduction. In introducing his sermons, … Continue reading Wesley’s two goals in preaching
When I started writing this blog many years ago, I was a lay person trying to come to grips with what this person John Wesley had written and taught. I had discovered in our Book of Discipline the important place his sermons and ministry had in the formation of the people called Methodist and wanted … Continue reading Back to the sources
There is a refrain I hear from some leaders in our churches and teachers in our seminaries about Jesus. It goes something like this. Jesus Christ is the lens through which we read the Bible. This notion gets deployed frequently when people are trying to wrestle with the passages in the Bible that depict God … Continue reading ‘God’ always includes the Son
[N]one can trust in the merits of Christ, till he has utterly renounced his own. — John Wesley, Salvation by Faith This is so hard. We are so good at polishing our own resume. We do such a good job listing off our own merits. We spend so much time telling ourselves “I am good … Continue reading Digging through the sand
He that sleeps in death, has a false peace; he that is awakened, has no peace at all; he that believes, has true peace … — John Wesley, “The Spirit of Bondage and Adoption“ When I first started to read John Wesley’s works, one of the things that I found most helpful was his attention … Continue reading The path of true peace
Christians are called to love God and love their neighbor. This is the command of Christ. When I hear or read these words, my thoughts go something like this. As a Christian who looks to John Wesley as a spiritual teacher, I know that the commands of Christ serve many functions, each one beneficial and … Continue reading How to love our neighbor
NOTE: The following is the text of a column that the Rev. Beth Ann Cook posted on her Facebook page and sent out by e-mail with her reflections on the recently completed 2019 General Conference. It is reprinted with her permission and edited lightly. Fear of the LORD is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of … Continue reading Guest post: Of Millstones and Misunderstandings
In “The Principles of a Methodist” John Wesley wrote about justification by faith. I believe three things must go together for our justification: Upon God’s part, his great mercy and grace; upon Christ’s part, the satisfaction of God’s justice, by the offering his body and shedding his blood; and upon our part, true and living … Continue reading Can we talk about justification?