The message of the Wesleys and of the subsequent “Methodist” movement was a message of radical faithfulness to God. It affirmed an optimism of grace which believed that people’s lives could be changed by the power of the Holy Spirit and that society could be changed — through the impact of prayer and through the impact of people who were filled with love for God and love for others. It was a movement that saw a progressive and liberating movement in Scripture that made it clear to them that the institution of slavery — the buying and selling of human beings — was wrong. It allowed them to see that God was calling both men and women into the service of Christ. It was a radical message of inward and outward holiness.
It can be hard to sustain a radical message. (more…)
Guest blog by T. C. Moore. T. C. is the planting pastor of the New City Covenant Church in Boston, Massachusetts (a church plant of the Evangelical Covenant Church). He is also a part-time student at the Boston campus of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary — the Center for Urban Ministerial Education (CUME). You can find out more about his family here: About the Moore Family. T. C. blogs at: Theological Graffitti. You can also follow him on Twitter:
He says about himself: “I began following Jesus at 16, shortly before my 17th birthday. Jesus rescued me from self-destruction, planted me in his family, and revealed my purpose to me. Following Jesus is about Love and Allegiance and Mission.”
This is an fascinating refelection on Islam, Open Theism and the theology of T. F Torrance. I don’t usually post on the topic of Open Theism because I’m quite non-committal on that topic, myself. I am a free-will Theist, and am strongly opposed to all forms of theological determinism — so I am sympathetic to Open Theism. I’m not convinced that one should lean too hard on any particular theory about the relationship of God to time — the nature of God and the nature of time are both unknowable. Nevertheless, I’m sure someone could claim that I should be an Open Theist given my commitment to free-will Theism.
Be that as it may (or may not), T. C.’s post is very interesting and well worth reading.
In the early part of his 2012 book How God Became King: The Forgotten Story of the Gospels, N. T. Wright remarks on how the Church has not always allowed itself to hear the full witness of the Gospels to Christ. I won’t attempt to reproduce the argument here: read the book.
Wright begins by discussing some ways that the Church’s teachings unintentionally got off track. And, as he is discussing how these various theologians of the past attempted to defend orthodoxy in a way that misconstrued some of the Bible’s teachings, he says on page 37 that “the eighteenth century saw great movements of revival, particularly through the Methodist movement led by John and Charles Wesley and George Whitefield.” and, he goes on to say: (more…)