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Wesleyan Theology, Reduced and Engaged

Wed, Apr 29, 2015

Introduction

For a movement still in its infancy when compared against other traditions and movements within the Christian oikoumene the Wesleyan church tradition has already reached a high level of diversity both in theology and practice. John Wesley was not a systematic theologian. His theology, like the apostle Paul, came out of the practical needs of the people he ministered to.1 Wesley was more focus on what he need to teach his parishioners and how best to teach them along with what the entire revival should be doing to best serve God and neighbor.2 Somewhere between Wesley’s revival and the modern church, the Wesleyan tradition lost its focus and started down unknown paths. Engaging with the Wesleyan theological tradition the core of Wesleyan theological thought can be sufficiently reduced to a study on the nature and work of the Triune God and that God’s universal plan to bring all creation into relationships of love with himself.

The Triune God of Love

God is, rightfully, at the center of Wesleyan and, presumably, all Christian theology. But to say God is meaningless without a definition; it is an empty term unhelpful to any theological task. Without a name, God can become whatever the caller of the name wants; God can be used for any purpose. To do theology within the Christian tradition, one must first name the god of whom we speak; God must be defined3.

God within the context of Wesleyan and Christian theology is the Triune God who is named and defined by experience throughout the narrative of the Hebrew Bible and New Testament. The Articles of Religion of the Church of England4 affirm that the God of the church is the only “living and true God, ” a god that is an eternal spirit infinite in “power, wisdom, and goodness.” The creeds of the catholic Church5 further define God as being made of three persons; a God in a union of Father,6 Son, and Holy Spirit. Indeed, no person of the Trinity ever acts alone; the Father cannot be the sender without the Son to send and the Son cannot minister7 without the presence of the Spirit.8 All three persons of the Godhead are equal in glory and majesty, all uncreated, all unlimited and eternal.9 The God of the Wesleyan theological task is the God of Jesus Christ, the God of the Cross, and — most importantly — the God of Love.

Humans have no innate knowledge about God; we are born without any understanding of him.10 How, then, do we come to know God? Our understanding about who God is is derived from our experiences of him within humanity in his creation.11 We see God in the changing of the seasons, in the acts of nature, and in the sparks of his image we see in our fellow humans. The Triune God of the Church is a relational God12. We come to know God, just as we came to know our own family and friends; by experiencing him in relationship over time. Since he exists as relational union of three persons, to fully know God necessitates one to experience the relationship of love flowing between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

It is very orthodox to declare that God is impassible, non-temporal, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent,13 etc., but to affirm these beliefs gets one no closer to knowing the One True God. These define only God’s natural attributes, those things which by their very definition are what divinity is.14 Relationship with God has directed people to codify and define the qualities of God and yet, there is still more that we do not understand about God than that which is clear. To be Christian is to be humble and recognize that there are actually very few things about God’s attributes that we are even capable of knowing or comprehending.15

If we cannot fully define or understand God’s natural attributes, then how does one fully name God? A name only has full meaning within the named’s narrative.16 The narrative of God in the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, the life of Israel, and the Church all inform our understanding of who God is. A logical system of attributes might be useful in a philosophical debate around the existence of God, but theology amongst God’s creation requires a focus on more practical matters. God’s character — a product of his so called moral attributes17 — and what that means for us as his creation is where Wesley devoted his focus of study.18 Coming to comprehend God’s character informs our understanding of his actions towards and for us in creation; the why behind his actions. Understanding how God’s reigning character of love manifests itself in the works of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit is where Wesley saw the work of the Christian theologian’s praxis.19

God the Father

The first person of the Trinity, God the Father, is at once the most preeminent person of the Trinity and the most elusive. Within the conversation of the church, the word God can refer to the Trinity in its entirety or the person of God the Father alone. As such, it is often difficult to determine if one is speaking about the person of the Father or the unity of the Godhead. Wesley himself muddied his language around the Father using God in places where an identifier pointing to the first person would have been more helpful.20

Though the creation narrative in Genesis clearly points to the Godhead in the plural being active in the creation of the cosmos,21 the person of the Father is seen above the other persons as the one with role of Creator. God the Father — in the unity of Trinity — created the heavens and the earth and all things on the earth ex nihilo — out of nothing.22 For the Father to have only created the cosmos, however, is not to tell the story of his entire narrative nor to fully understand his character. The Father not only creates, but out of his continued love for his creation he sustains. Without the sustaining grace of God all of creation would cease to exist. We are and have space because he wills it; the creation does not stand on its own, but under the arms of the Sustainer of all the cosmos.23

Wesley had a deep dislike of deism, seeing it as more dangerous than atheism in his day.24 A source of Wesley’s concern for deism is the way it viewed the providential nature of God — in the person of the Father. The deist held a view of a creator who created, but then stepped away and let his creation work for itself.25 This, to a Wesleyan theologian, is against God’s central character of love.26 For God the Father to be active in the creation and continued sustaining of the world means that he, unlike the god of deism, wants to be a participant in his creation. This is not to say that the Father directs all the actions of his creation, but rather that he does provide for his children in numerous seen and unseen ways — miracles, personal revelation, etc.27 In these acts of providence, the first person of the Trinity is the Father of Matt 7:7-1128 who gives “good things” to his creation.

As the Creator of the cosmos God the Father, by right, is also the sovereign governor of all things. The Father, in the role of governor, sets the rules of the game, as it were, for his creation. He could have divinely directed all the thoughts and actions of the cosmos, but instead — staying true to his driving character of love — willed that his human creation would be given the grace to freely accept or reject his governorship.29 The Father’s creation was, originally, all good. However, when Adam exercised his God-enabled free will to reject God’s desire to be in relationship with him, God became a judge of humankind.30

Bringing sin, death, and evil31 into creation Adam sealed God’s role as judge, but also positioned God as the great physician of the human race. Taking Eastern Christian ideas about humankind’s relationship to God, Wesley saw the Father playing a part in healing our bodies from the death found outside his reign. The Father — driven by his overarching character of love — not only heals humankind to its original good state, but ensures an even greater goodness in that which he redeems.32

God the Son

The second person of the Trinity is the preeminent person of the Christian church. More conversation — and disagreement — is had around the person of Jesus than any other member of the Godhead. The Articles (39) affirm standard Christian belief around the person of Jesus Christ. He is God the Son, the eternal Logos33 of the Father. He was born to the Virgin Mary, but conceived through God the Spirit, and was fully human and fully divine. He lived, died on the cross, was dead and buried, but rose after three days thus defeating sin, evil, and death.34 When Jesus rose from the dead, he was not spirit, but a body of flesh and bones; a fully resurrected being. He sits enthroned, presently, at the right hand of the Father until he returns at the eschaton.35

By his life and death God the Son shows the world the true character and nature of God. By his obedience on the cross Jesus defines divinity. Jesus Christ, God the Son, “is the image of the invisible God.36” God the Father “was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through” the unexpected, humble, meek, and sacrificial life of Jesus “to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven.”37

Contrary to what the world saw, Jesus’ death on the cross did not prove his lacking of divinity, but rather was the moment when God vindicated his true character from the false definitions of the world. Because of his display of the true divine power of love, God the Father exalted God the Son “to the highest place” and gave “him the name that is above every name,” the divine name itself.38 Because Jesus made himself low that all might be saved we can eagerly await the day when “at the name of Jesus every knee” will “bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord.”39

Fully God, Jesus revealed to us the true character of the Divine. Fully human, he gave us the pattern for how humankind is to live in relation to one-another and to God.40 As our priest God the Son is always at work to dispense mercy when we have strained our relationship with the Triune. As our prophet Jesus is constantly calling us to deeper relationship with him, the Father, and the Spirit. As our king and physician, God the Son leads us to present healing through the Spirit and eventual return to the Father.41

God the Holy Spirit

The third person of the Trinity, God the Holy Spirit, is spoken of far less in Wesleyan circles than his impact to our theology would have one think. John Wesley places the Holy Spirit at the core of how he understood the Christian life.42 God the Father and God the Son never do anything by themselves and the Holy Spirit never appears alone. Jesus, for example, is always fulfilling the will of the Father through the power of the Spirit. The union of the Triune God takes place within the God the Holy Spirit; he is the “in-between God.”43 Indeed, the Articles (39) affirm the Holy Spirit as the “in-between God” by declaring that he proceeds from both the Father and the Son.44

Despite his “in-between” status in connecting and binding the Trinity the Holy Spirit is a person, not an effect or force. He is not someone who is above our lives or above our world.45 He is “with the Father and the Son, very and eternal God.”46 The Holy Spirit is a full part of the one Triune God, and Wesleyan theology treats him as such.

Prevenient grace, that gracious gift of awareness of God’s advances towards us, what is holy and life-giving, and the empowering freedom to accept relationship with God is a work of God the spirit.47 The Holy Spirit works to convince us of our sins and unreconciled state; he then empowers us to respond to God’s approach to us.48 Through the sacrifice of God the Son, the Spirit is offered as a “gracious empowering Presence” to those who believe, a force that directly heals our body, mind, and soul to correction orientation to God; it is the work Holy Spirit that enables the creature to become holy like the divine.49

Four Alls

During the 20th century the Methodist in Great Britain devised a statement summarizing the four main beliefs of the Methodist movement as it relates to the Wesleyan understanding of soteriology: “all need to be saved; all can be saved; all can know they are saved; all can be saved to the uttermost.”50 Thought this statement is far from a complete and total understanding of the “way of salvation” taught by Wesley, it is a good organizational tool for structuring the Wesleyan way of thinking about the human condition and God’s plan for healing and redemption within his creation.

Anthropology: All Need to Be Saved

Human beings were created by God as creatures whose existence is defined only in relationship to the creating God of Heaven.51 Outside of our communion with the Triune God human beings have no meaning and are simply monads of little consequence or value. Humans, in all, are simply creatures; there is no part of divinity we take to be our own.52

The creation account of Genesis teaches that God created the entire cosmos and called it “good.”53 Our good purpose at the beginning of all things was to be in relationship with this same God; to accept his advances of love to be our governor and participate in the divine union of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Being in the image of God is humankind’s vocation and calling in the world. We are in the image of God insomuch as we are in relationship with God and neighbor. Outside of relationship with God, humans are incomplete because our original created order includes God.54

Sin is rejecting or moving away from relationship with God. It is enmity to God’s grace and enmity to what God is doing for us in creation and calling us into relationship with him. The sin, then, in the garden was not so much eating the fruit, but choosing to break relationship with God for the sake of knowledge; for the sake of attempting to be a God. This is humankind’s perennial problem. We are always forgetting our place within creation and constantly trying to see ourselves as God-like.55

Humans outside the presence of God originally found in the garden were completely incapable of restoring relationship with God. Only God can restore relationship with God. When Adam broke relationship with God and brought sin, death, and evil into God’s creation he distanced humans from God and snuffed out the image of himself God had placed within his creation. Thus, humans need an act of God to restore the spark of relationship; this is prevenient grace. God restores some of our spiritual senses so that we can feel his presence and have the opportunity to accept or reject his advances for deeper communion.56

Humans have no ability to save themselves or revert the isolated position they find themselves in. Only God can restore. Only God can save. Humans do not have the freedom of will to accept or reject relationship with God. However, with restored spiritual senses through prevenient grace, humans are given God-enabled free will to accept or reject God’s advances.57 This is at the core of the Wesleyan understanding of God’s grace. All have had their spiritual senses restored and, thus, all are free to accept or reject God’s advances of restorative grace. Sin is not something God has created, but something he allows humans as they willingly elect to move further away from his healing presence.58

Justification: All Can be Saved

Through Adam all of creation is now fallen out of relationship with God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Acting out of his driving character of love, the Triune God has reempowered each and every human being through his act of prevenient grace to once again be able to freely accept his advances for relationship. As both the fall and God’s gracious first step towards restoration are universal, so, too, is God’s gracious gift of justification; all can truly be saved.59

Justification is the process by which God allows us full access to the relationship of love that flows between the persons of the Trinity.60 Whereas before justification the creation’s relationship with God is broken, after justification relationship is fully restored and space is made for the relationship to grow. This justification is an act of God alone, but one he makes with the creation’s participation; it is a joint effort.61

As, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,62” all need restoration back into alignment with God’s intent for his creation — relationship with God. Sin brings death and evil, but as God the Son overcame death on our behalf, the Father can pardon from the sentence of death — isolation from God. Outside of pardon, justification brings the power to participate in the divine life and the power to be healed of the injuries of sin and death.63

Assurance: All Can Know They are Saved

Knowing that a repentant heart and assent to God’s advances for relationship and restoration is all that is required to be justified is knowledge worth having, but if the believer does not know his or herself to be justified he or she will continue to look inwardly instead of correctly focusing outward to God and neighbor. Wesley believed that God, in his mercy, answered calls for restoration to the Father with an answer from God the Spirit.64 “When we cry, ‘Abba! Father!,’ it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God.”65 Just as God empowers us to renew relationship, he also assures us of our standing with him.

Sanctification: All Can be Saved to the Uttermost

With rekindled spiritual senses from God’s preventing and justifying grace, humans and God must begin on reforming humankind’s natural affections and tempers towards the goal of recovering the likeness of God bestowed at creation.66 Affections are those things we love. For humans our natural — outside of the live of God — affection is often for ourselves. Without God to fill his correct place in our intended state of being, humans have created deeper relationship with self and value self greater than God or others. Restored relationship with God places God back within the center of humankind’s being. Our affections orientate our tempers, the prevalent direction or disposition of our minds. If our mind is not focused on relationship with God, then we will direct it elsewhere to fill the silence.67

If justification is when we receive pardon from the break in our relationship with God and are invited back in to the divine life of God, then sanctification is the further building of that relationship. If justification is when we are cured from the curse of death, sanctification is the process by which are the scars of death are erased completely. Sanctification is the regeneration of the mind — the tempers and the affections — to the image of God. The creation’s thoughts begin to mirror the divine’s thoughts, the affections of the creation now correctly orientate to love God and neighbor. In the Greek sense of the word perfection, the creature has become mature in relationship with God.68

Conclusion

Within Wesleyan theology relationship with the Triune God is key. It is through our relationship with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit that we are progressively healed through God’s sanctifying grace. It is through our relationship with God that we learn how to have correct relationships of love with our neighbor. God wants all to be in relationship with him; there is no one excluded from his universal love. The entire human family is sick and needs God’s healing. We can all be not only healed and fully restored from our present wounds, but we can all be completely recreated into a fuller likeness of the image of God. In all, God will witness in our heart through the working of the person of the Holy Spirit that we are his children and worthy of relationship with him.

Wesleyan theology can be made much more complex than all of this. There are means of grace, there are practical methodologies for forming God-reconciled communities, there are tested patterns of hermeneutics, and formalized ways to reflect on theological problems in a Methodist way. Though all these things have an important place and role in the life of the church they do not touch at the heart of the matter. When all is said and done there is but a loving, three-person, creator God who wishes to be in a relationship of love with his creation. Glory be to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; one God, now and forever!


Bibliography

Baptism, Eucharist, and Ministry. Faith and Order Paper, no. 111. Geneva: World Council of Churches, 1982. Cobb, John B. Grace and Responsibility: A Wesleyan Theology for Today. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1995. Fahlbusch, Erwin, and Geoffrey William Bromiley, eds. The Encyclopedia of Christianity. Vol. 3: J - O. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2003. Maddox, Randy L. Responsible Grace: John Wesley’s Practical Theology. Nashville, Tenn: Kingswood Books, 1994. Meeks, M. Douglas, “Theology in the United Methodist Tradition” Lecture, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, January 20, 2015. Meeks, M. Douglas, “Theology in the United Methodist Tradition” Lecture, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, January 27, 2015. Meeks, M. Douglas, “Theology in the United Methodist Tradition” Lecture, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, February 3, 2015. Meeks, M. Douglas, “Theology in the United Methodist Tradition” Lecture, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, February 10, 2015. Meeks, M. Douglas, “Theology in the United Methodist Tradition” Lecture, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, February 24, 2015. Meeks, M. Douglas, “Theology in the United Methodist Tradition” Lecture, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, March 10, 2015. Runyon, Theodore. The New Creation: John Wesley’s Theology Today. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1998. Wesley, John, Albert Cook Outler, and Richard P. Heitzenrater. John Wesley’s Sermons: An Anthology. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1991.


  1. Randy L. Maddox, Responsible Grace: John Wesley’s Practical Theology (Nashville, Tenn: Kingswood Books, 1994), 46-47. [return]
  2. M. Douglas Meeks, “Theology in the United Methodist Tradition” (lecture, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, January 20, 2015). [return]
  3. M. Douglas Meeks, “Theology in the United Methodist Tradition” (lecture, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, January 27, 2015). [return]
  4. Here after referenced as Articles (39). [return]
  5. Article 8 of the Articles of Religion of the Church of England defines the catholic creeds as the Nicene, Athanasian, and Apostles’. [return]
  6. Throughout this essay the first person of the Trinity will be named Father. In addition, masculine pronouns will be used when referring to the Triune God, the Godhead, and the individual persons of the Trinity. Though outside the topic of this paper, I name God such out of respect for the Scriptural tradition, the tradition of the Anglican tradition to which I belong, and as an act of unity with the greater Church catholic. God values and loves all of his creation regardless of biological gender and does not favor one gender over the other. Gendered language is a product of human language and not God’s language of love. [return]
  7. In the gospels Jesus’ ministry does not being until after the Holy Spirit has defended upon him. [return]
  8. M. Douglas Meeks, “Theology in the United Methodist Tradition” (lecture, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, January 27, 2015). [return]
  9. Athanasian Creed [return]
  10. Randy L. Maddox, Responsible Grace: John Wesley’s Practical Theology (Nashville, Tenn: Kingswood Books, 1994), 49. [return]
  11. Randy L. Maddox, Responsible Grace: John Wesley’s Practical Theology (Nashville, Tenn: Kingswood Books, 1994), 48. [return]
  12. Randy L. Maddox, Responsible Grace: John Wesley’s Practical Theology (Nashville, Tenn: Kingswood Books, 1994), 50. [return]
  13. Randy L. Maddox, Responsible Grace: John Wesley’s Practical Theology (Nashville, Tenn: Kingswood Books, 1994), 51-53. [return]
  14. Randy L. Maddox, Responsible Grace: John Wesley’s Practical Theology (Nashville, Tenn: Kingswood Books, 1994), 51. [return]
  15. Randy L. Maddox, Responsible Grace: John Wesley’s Practical Theology (Nashville, Tenn: Kingswood Books, 1994), 49. [return]
  16. M. Douglas Meeks, “Theology in the United Methodist Tradition” (lecture, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, January 27, 2015). [return]
  17. Randy L. Maddox, Responsible Grace: John Wesley’s Practical Theology (Nashville, Tenn: Kingswood Books, 1994), 53. [return]
  18. Randy L. Maddox, Responsible Grace: John Wesley’s Practical Theology (Nashville, Tenn: Kingswood Books, 1994), 50-51. [return]
  19. Randy L. Maddox, Responsible Grace: John Wesley’s Practical Theology (Nashville, Tenn: Kingswood Books, 1994), 51. [return]
  20. Randy L. Maddox, Responsible Grace: John Wesley’s Practical Theology (Nashville, Tenn: Kingswood Books, 1994), 48. [return]
  21. Gen 1:26 “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness […]‘” RSV [return]
  22. Randy L. Maddox, Responsible Grace: John Wesley’s Practical Theology (Nashville, Tenn: Kingswood Books, 1994), 58. [return]
  23. Randy L. Maddox, Responsible Grace: John Wesley’s Practical Theology (Nashville, Tenn: Kingswood Books, 1994), 58-59. [return]
  24. M. Douglas Meeks, “Theology in the United Methodist Tradition” (lecture, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, January 27, 2015). [return]
  25. Randy L. Maddox, Responsible Grace: John Wesley’s Practical Theology (Nashville, Tenn: Kingswood Books, 1994), 60. [return]
  26. John B. Cobb, Grace and Responsibility: A Wesleyan Theology for Today (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1995), 57-61. [return]
  27. Randy L. Maddox, Responsible Grace: John Wesley’s Practical Theology (Nashville, Tenn: Kingswood Books, 1994), 60. [return]
  28. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the RSV translation. [return]
  29. Theodore Runyon, The New Creation: John Wesley’s Theology Today (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1998), 10. [return]
  30. Randy L. Maddox, Responsible Grace: John Wesley’s Practical Theology (Nashville, Tenn: Kingswood Books, 1994), 61. [return]
  31. Sin, death, and evil are the counter trinity per Dr. Meeks. [return]
  32. Randy L. Maddox, Responsible Grace: John Wesley’s Practical Theology (Nashville, Tenn: Kingswood Books, 1994), 62. [return]
  33. e.g. John 1:1-3 [return]
  34. Articles (39), Article II [return]
  35. Articles (39), Article Iv [return]
  36. Col 1:15 [return]
  37. Col 1:19-20 [return]
  38. Phil 2:9 [return]
  39. Phil 2:11 [return]
  40. Randy L. Maddox, Responsible Grace: John Wesley’s Practical Theology (Nashville, Tenn: Kingswood Books, 1994), 106-109. [return]
  41. Randy L. Maddox, Responsible Grace: John Wesley’s Practical Theology (Nashville, Tenn: Kingswood Books, 1994), 110-113. [return]
  42. Randy L. Maddox, Responsible Grace: John Wesley’s Practical Theology (Nashville, Tenn: Kingswood Books, 1994), 119. [return]
  43. M. Douglas Meeks, “Theology in the United Methodist Tradition” (lecture, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, February 24, 2015). [return]
  44. Articles (39), Article V [return]
  45. M. Douglas Meeks, “Theology in the United Methodist Tradition” (lecture, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, February 24, 2015). [return]
  46. Articles (39), Article V [return]
  47. John B. Cobb, Grace and Responsibility: A Wesleyan Theology for Today (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1995), 44. [return]
  48. M. Douglas Meeks, “Theology in the United Methodist Tradition” (lecture, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, February 24, 2015). [return]
  49. Randy L. Maddox, Responsible Grace: John Wesley’s Practical Theology (Nashville, Tenn: Kingswood Books, 1994), 119-121. [return]
  50. Erwin Fahlbusch and Geoffrey William Bromiley, eds., The Encyclopedia of Christianity. Vol. 3: J - O (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2003), 508. [return]
  51. Theodore Runyon, The New Creation: John Wesley’s Theology Today (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1998), 8-12. [return]
  52. M. Douglas Meeks, “Theology in the United Methodist Tradition” (lecture, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, February 3, 2015). [return]
  53. e.g. Gen 1:12 [return]
  54. John B. Cobb, Grace and Responsibility: A Wesleyan Theology for Today (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1995), 81-83. [return]
  55. M. Douglas Meeks, “Theology in the United Methodist Tradition” (lecture, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, February 3, 2015). [return]
  56. Theodore Runyon, The New Creation: John Wesley’s Theology Today (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1998), 27-30. [return]
  57. Randy L. Maddox, Responsible Grace: John Wesley’s Practical Theology (Nashville, Tenn: Kingswood Books, 1994), 88-89. [return]
  58. Randy L. Maddox, Responsible Grace: John Wesley’s Practical Theology (Nashville, Tenn: Kingswood Books, 1994), 61-62. [return]
  59. John Wesley, Free Grace in John Wesley’s Sermons: An Anthology, [return]
  60. Theodore Runyon, The New Creation: John Wesley’s Theology Today (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1998), 42-43. [return]
  61. Theodore Runyon, The New Creation: John Wesley’s Theology Today (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1998), 55. [return]
  62. Rom 3:23 [return]
  63. Randy L. Maddox, Responsible Grace: John Wesley’s Practical Theology (Nashville, Tenn: Kingswood Books, 1994), 166-168. [return]
  64. John B. Cobb, Grace and Responsibility: A Wesleyan Theology for Today (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1995), 91. [return]
  65. Rom 8:15b-16 [return]
  66. Randy L. Maddox, Responsible Grace: John Wesley’s Practical Theology (Nashville, Tenn: Kingswood Books, 1994), 172. [return]
  67. M. Douglas Meeks, “Theology in the United Methodist Tradition” (lecture, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, March 10, 2015). [return]
  68. Theodore Runyon, The New Creation: John Wesley’s Theology Today (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1998), 82-86. [return]