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The Theology of John Wesley: Holy Love and the Shape of Grace

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A rich articulation of John Wesley's theology that is appreciative of the old and mindful of the new, faithful to the past and attentive to the present. This work carefully displays John Wesley's eighteenth century theology in its own distinct historical and social location, but then transitions to the twenty-first century through the introduction of contemporary issues. So A rich articulation of John Wesley's theology that is appreciative of the old and mindful of the new, faithful to the past and attentive to the present. This work carefully displays John Wesley's eighteenth century theology in its own distinct historical and social location, but then transitions to the twenty-first century through the introduction of contemporary issues. So conceived, the book is both historical and constructive demonstrating that the theology of Wesley represents a vibrant tradition. Cognizant of Wesley's own preferred vocabulary, Collins introduces Wesley's theological method beginning with a discussion of the doctrine of God. "In this insightful exposition the leitmotif of holy love arises out of Wesley's reflection on the nature of the divine being as well as other major doctrines." (Douglas Meeks)


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A rich articulation of John Wesley's theology that is appreciative of the old and mindful of the new, faithful to the past and attentive to the present. This work carefully displays John Wesley's eighteenth century theology in its own distinct historical and social location, but then transitions to the twenty-first century through the introduction of contemporary issues. So A rich articulation of John Wesley's theology that is appreciative of the old and mindful of the new, faithful to the past and attentive to the present. This work carefully displays John Wesley's eighteenth century theology in its own distinct historical and social location, but then transitions to the twenty-first century through the introduction of contemporary issues. So conceived, the book is both historical and constructive demonstrating that the theology of Wesley represents a vibrant tradition. Cognizant of Wesley's own preferred vocabulary, Collins introduces Wesley's theological method beginning with a discussion of the doctrine of God. "In this insightful exposition the leitmotif of holy love arises out of Wesley's reflection on the nature of the divine being as well as other major doctrines." (Douglas Meeks)

30 review for The Theology of John Wesley: Holy Love and the Shape of Grace

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nick

    Dr. Collins does an excellent job of guiding readers through understanding Wesley's theology--no easy task, since it continually developed throughout his ministry and he was in no way systematic. My three stars do not reflect the quality of the book but, rather, my enjoyment of it. Dr. Collin's main objective is to show what Wesley's theology was rather than build a strong case for the validity of that theology. The focus is always on the historical analysis of Wesley's writings. For a Methodist Dr. Collins does an excellent job of guiding readers through understanding Wesley's theology--no easy task, since it continually developed throughout his ministry and he was in no way systematic. My three stars do not reflect the quality of the book but, rather, my enjoyment of it. Dr. Collin's main objective is to show what Wesley's theology was rather than build a strong case for the validity of that theology. The focus is always on the historical analysis of Wesley's writings. For a Methodist who needs to understand what Wesley did and didn't believe this should be quite helpful. For people who argue against Wesleyan-Arminianism this a book that they need to read. For me, it just wasn't what I wanted to be reading at the time.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Matthew J. Winbow

    As Fred Sanders has also pointed out there are numerous Wesleys “that have been portrayed by the interpreters: the basically Reformed Wesley, the essentially Lutheran-Pietist Wesley, the secretly Puritan Wesley, the exotically Greek Patristic Wesley. Methodists, understandably, have a tendency to describe him retroactively as a good Methodist, though like all interpreters they have to explain why he was pleased to remain Anglican all his life. Anglican he may have been, but reasonable scholars h As Fred Sanders has also pointed out there are numerous Wesleys “that have been portrayed by the interpreters: the basically Reformed Wesley, the essentially Lutheran-Pietist Wesley, the secretly Puritan Wesley, the exotically Greek Patristic Wesley. Methodists, understandably, have a tendency to describe him retroactively as a good Methodist, though like all interpreters they have to explain why he was pleased to remain Anglican all his life. Anglican he may have been, but reasonable scholars have nevertheless described him as a secret Baptist, a crypto-Catholic, and a proto-Pentecostal. These disputes over the interpretation of his theology have become the standard fare of Wesley studies.” Collins seeks to provide a holistic look into the theology of Wesley and comes down within the protestant Reformed-Lutheran-Pietist strand of interpretation always attempting to locate Wesley within that broader stream whilst acknowledging that Wesley was very keen on the Greek Fathers and some Catholic devotional literature. Collins seems to be keen on the Wesley quote where he says “I think on justification just as Mr. Calvin does. In this respect I do not differ from him an hair’s breadth.” Collins in this work shows us how Wesley kept so many tensions in his theology together whether Grace and Works, Monergism and Synergism, Irresistible and Resistible Grace. Wesley is the King at “porque no los dos?” “Why not both?” and always seeks to maintain scriptural language rather than the language of the systematic theologians. I think that this is Wesley’s greatest strength. Collins suggests that the German Lutheran Pietist August Hermann Francke (22 March 1663 – 8 June 1727) was probably a major influence upon Wesley’s understanding of the new birth and being born again. Collins writes “This "protestant" theme of grace can likewise be amply demonstrated from Wesley's writings. "The author of faith and salvation is God alone." Wesley notes, "He is the sole Giver of every good gift." Moreover, not only does Wesley contend that "holiness is the work of God," but he also maintains that the Most High "doth it of his own good pleasure." In other words, divine freedom, and yes, even sovereignty, determines the timetable for crucial receptions of grace.” One thing I appreciated at the end of each chapter was the “Today and Tomorrow” section that looked at how some of Wesley’s insights could contribute to today’s conversations. I especially enjoyed the section on Pentecostalism and its origins within Wesley’s theology. This is a great overview of the theology of John Wesley. It is well worth a read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sam

  4. 4 out of 5

    Eddie Kahler

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

  6. 4 out of 5

    Zmo

  7. 5 out of 5

    Hank

  8. 5 out of 5

    Michal White

  9. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Angel

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kyle P

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nick Schimmer

  12. 4 out of 5

    Matt Dampier

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Snider

  14. 4 out of 5

    Wesley College

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Kapp

  16. 4 out of 5

    Michael F.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Charles

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tracy Rose

  19. 5 out of 5

    Olivia

  20. 5 out of 5

    Evan Guse

  21. 4 out of 5

    Scott J. Sherwood

  22. 5 out of 5

    April Bach

  23. 5 out of 5

    Michael Fetting

  24. 5 out of 5

    James W. Fogal

  25. 5 out of 5

    Matt Kreh

  26. 5 out of 5

    Robert

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kevin M

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mordecai Americus

  29. 4 out of 5

    Brett Marko

  30. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Whiteman

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