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Aldersgate and Athens

John Wesley and the Foundations of Christian Belief

William J. Abraham

Publication Year: 2010

In his day, John Wesley offered important insights on how to obtain knowledge of God that readily bears fruit in our own times. As premiere Wesleyan scholar William Abraham shows, Wesley's most famous spiritual experience is rife with philosophical significance and implications. Throughout, Abraham brings Wesley's works into fruitful conversation with some of the most important work in contemporary epistemology. Lyrically and succinctly he explores the simultaneous epistemological quest and spiritual pilgrimage that were central to Wesley and the Evangelical Revival of the eighteenth century. In so doing, he provides a learned and eye-opening meditation upon the relationship between reason and faith.

Published by: Baylor University Press

Table of Contents

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pp. vii-

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Preface

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pp. ix-

The material that follows represents the substance of a series of lectures delivered at Barker Road Methodist Church in Singapore. I am grateful to the Reverend Malcolm Tan for his kind invitation to deliver these lectures and for the wonderful hospitality I enjoyed during my stay in Singapore. They attempt to show that John Wesley, in his day, offered

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Chapter 1. Faith and the Promises of God

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pp. 1-21

For many Methodists, the experience of John Wesley captured in these famous words remains a fascinating event worthy of celebration and extended reflection. They even have a name for it: the Aldersgate experience. The name is taken from Aldersgate Street in London where on May 24, 1738, Wesley had the heartwarming experience that launched him into his career as one of the truly great evangelists of the church in the West. A short time before Aldersgate, Wesley had come ...

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Chapter 2. Faith and Personal Experience of God

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pp. 23-40

We are exploring the relation between faith and reason with substantial help from our Father in God, John Wesley. The topic of faith and reason, of course, is a vast one that has preoccupied both learned theologians and ordinary Christians from the very beginning of the Christian faith. The amount of material available on the relationship between faith and reason is absolutely staggering. And the debate rages on today. Indeed the last forty years have seen an amazing turnaround ...

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Chapter 3. Faith and the Power of God

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pp. 41-60

In his Aldersgate experience John Wesley was convinced that at least three things had happened to him. He had come to experience the fulfillment of divine promise that had been preached to him by Peter Böhler and the Moravians. He had come to perceive the love of God for himself, so much so that he could with integrity and sincerity call God “Abba, Father.” And he had come to experience the power of God, ...

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Chapter 4. Faith and Divine Revelation

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pp. 61-80

John Wesley was a robust rationalist in the popular sense that he readily took it upon himself to explain and give evidence of what he believed. His mother is reported to have said that he would not go to the toilet without a reason. In the technical sense he was not at all a rationalist for, with Aristotle and Locke, he held that all knowledge comes through the senses. Technically he was an empiricist, but he was a very peculiar ...

Notes

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pp. 81-90

Bibliography

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pp. 91-93

Index

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pp. 95-98


E-ISBN-13: 9781602584938
E-ISBN-10: 1602584931
Print-ISBN-13: 9781602582460
Print-ISBN-10: 1602582467

Page Count: 125
Publication Year: 2010

Edition: 1

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • Wesley, John, 1703-1791.
  • Conversion -- Christianity -- Case studies.
  • God -- Knowableness.
  • Faith.
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