Wesley, Wesleyans, and Reading Bible as Scripture
Publication Year: 2012
The theology of John Wesley has proven exceedingly influential in the religious and spiritual lives of Wesley's followers and his critics. However, Wesley did not leave behind a written doctrine on scripture. This collection presents an array of diverse approaches to understanding John Wesley's charge to read and interpret the Bible as scripture. Contributors move beyond the work of Wesley himself to discuss how Wesleyan communities have worked to address the difficult scriptural—and theological—conundrums of their time and place.
With contributions from William J. Abraham, Justo L. González, Joel B. Green, Elaine A. Heath, Randy L. Maddox, Karen B. Westerfield Tucker, Jason E. Vickers, Laceye Warner, David F. Watson, Kenneth J. Collins, Robert W. Wall, Reginald Broadnax, Meesaeng Lee Choi, Hunn Choi, Douglas M. Koskela, D. Brent Laytham, Steven J. Koskie, and Michael Pasquarello III, Wesley, Wesleyans, and Reading Bible as Scripture ultimately attempts to underscore what it means to stand in the Wesleyan stream and bring about holiness through—and within—daily occurrences.
Published by: Baylor University Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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List of Abbreviati ons
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...everyone would agree that Scripture was central to John Wesley’s life and thought. Beyond general statements like this, though, consensus would be more difficult to reach. What was his doctrine of Scripture? In what sense for Wesley was the Bible authoritative? What was the status of Scripture in relation to other theological sources and norms? ...
Part IWesley on Scripture
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1John Wesley—“A Man of one Book”
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...engaging Scripture, as a witness to and setting of divine revelation, was central to John Wesley’s Christian life and to the spiritual commu-nities that he helped gather and lead. The elderly Wesley stressed this point when reflecting on the early movement at Oxford University:united together, each of them was homo unius libri—a man of one ...
2Scripture as a Means of Grac e
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...laced throughout eighteenth-century Britain was ever the concern of John Wesley. Indeed, beyond the first two precepts of natural law of (1) doing no harm and (2) doing good as found in the General Rules of the United Societies, Wesley wisely added a third rule, namely, “attend-ing upon all the ordinances of God,”1 in order to foster an awareness ...
3Reading Scripture, the Literal sense,and the anal ogy of faith
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The three topics combined in this chapter cannot be understood apart from Wesley’s theology of Scripture. even though rarely considered anymore as a condition of its interpretation, what the interpreter believes about the Bible influences how the Bible is interpreted and practiced. For the sake of clarity, then, I want to begin with a brief ...
4Wesley as Interpreter of Scriptureand the Emerg ence of “History ”in Biblical Interpretati on
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Modern assessment of John Wesley as a reader of the Bible has tended to relegate his work to the category of the “uncritical,”1 often drawing attention to Wesley’s lack of a genuinely historical consciousness and his concomitant failure to allow concerns with historical reconstruc-tion and historical context their determinative roles in assessing the ...
Part IIThe Nature and Authority of Scripture among Wesleyans
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5Scripture among african americanmethodists
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The Bible for the Black preacher is the greatest book that has ever been written. In it God Himself speaks to men. It is a book of divine instruction. It offers comfort in sorrow, guidance in perplexity, advice for our problems, rebuke for our sins, and daily inspiration for our every need. The Bible is not simply one book. It is an entire ...
6Scripture among hispanicmethodists
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As one broaches the theme of Scripture among Hispanic Methodists, several points need clarification. The first of these is the very definition of “Hispanic.”1 While this term is usually employed to refer to people of Hispanic culture and traditions living in the United States, for the purpose of this article that definition may be too narrow. Indeed, the ...
7Scripture among KoreanMethodists
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...accepted without question as the sacred text of the Christian faith. In fact, “Bible” in Korean is sung-gyung, “holy sacred book.” This essay will, first, briefly trace the history of Korean Hangul Bible in Korean Christianity. Then, we will examine how Scripture has functioned authoritatively among Korean Methodists and Wesleyans within the ...
8Scripture and Divine Revelati on
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Treating scripture straightforwardly as divine revelation represents a vision of scripture and a vision of divine revelation that should long ago have been consigned to the ash bin of history.1 The conventional move to identify scripture as divine revelation causes untold pastoral and ecumenical problems: it corrupts our understanding of scripture ...
9A Wesleyan Understanding of theAuthority of Scripture
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It is relatively commonplace for Christian communities from across the ecclesial spectrum to affirm, in one sense or another, the authority of Scripture. When they begin to flesh out precisely what such authority entails, however, they move quickly into contested territory. Indeed, the very contexts in which Scripture’s authority is generally invoked—hot-...
10The Holiness of Scripture
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Wesleyans, like other Protestants, spend a great deal of time talking about the significance of Scripture. We talk about the authority of Scripture, the inspiration of Scripture, the infallibility or inerrancy of Scripture, and the sufficiency of Scripture.1 From time to time, we even discuss the concept of Scripture as canon.2 Most of all, Wesley-...
11Scripture as Canon
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John Wesley was a man immersed in the Bible. It is hard to overstate the importance that he placed on Scripture, since he believed that Scripture showed the way to salvation, which meant a renewed life in the present and eternal life with God. He was committed to an understanding of scriptural holiness—a life guided by the statutes of ...
Part IIIWesleyans Working with Scripture
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12Scripture and Social Ethics
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Like Lotto balls fluttering in their hopper, this essay begins with the question of the ordered relationship of several intellectual arenas. Are we playing “Pick 3”—investigating the proper interaction of Scrip-ture, “social ethics,” and the Wesleyan tradition? or are we hazard-ing the longer odds of “Pick 4”—seeking the winning combination ...
13Can We Speak of a WesleyanTheological Hermeneuticof Scripture Today ?
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Are Wesleyans still a people of one book? If so, do they know how to read that one book? This seems to be part of the issue surrounding the recent interest in developing a Wesleyan theological hermeneutic of Scripture. How we read, to what end we read, and whether all of this reading can be labeled “Wesleyan”—such questions have only grown in ...
14Reading Scripture for ChristianFormati on
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What does it mean to read the Bible for Christian formation as Wes-leyans? How did John Wesley engage formationally with Scripture, and what did he teach others to do? How have Wesley’s theological descendents—teachers and practitioners of Wesleyan Christian for-mation—carried Wesley’s “scriptural DNA” forward into contempo-...
15The Plac e of Scripture in Worship
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...“It is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him’” (Matt 4:10; Luke 4:8, NRSv; cf. Deut 6:13-14). With these words, spoken in the context of his dispute with the Adversary, Jesus summarized the principle repeated throughout the oT: that the people of God—along with the rest of the inhabitants of earth and heaven—are meant ...
16The Plac e of Scripture
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A recently published collection of essays on the pastoral use of Scrip-ture describes the practice of John Wesley (and Charles) in the follow-While preaching remained central to their project, Sacraments and a high view of the church office fell by the wayside; and for all of the education of the leadership, the incipient experiential pragmatism ...
17Scripture and evangelism
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Reading Scripture within the Wesleyan tradition offers particular emphases that illuminate aspects of the biblical text for the forma-tion and discipleship of Christian believers, particularly with regard to evangelism. Drawing on John Wesley, whose reverence for and priority of Christian Scripture is clear from his writings, provides guidance for ...
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List of contribut ors
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Index of Names
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Page Count: 350
Publication Year: 2012