The Renewal of the Heart Is the Mission of the Church: Wesley's Heart Religion in the Twenty-First Century

Overview

John Wesley has arguably influenced more American Christians than any other Protestant interpreter. One reason for this wide influence is that Wesley often spoke about the "heart" and its "affections"?that realm of life where all humans experience their deepest satisfactions, as well as some of their deepest conundrums. However, one of the problems of interpreting and appropriating Wesley is that we have been blinded to Wesley's actual views about "heart religion" by contemporary stereotypes about "affections" or...

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The Renewal of the Heart Is the Mission of the Church: Wesley's Heart Religion in the Twenty-First Century

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Overview

John Wesley has arguably influenced more American Christians than any other Protestant interpreter. One reason for this wide influence is that Wesley often spoke about the "heart" and its "affections"—that realm of life where all humans experience their deepest satisfactions, as well as some of their deepest conundrums. However, one of the problems of interpreting and appropriating Wesley is that we have been blinded to Wesley's actual views about "heart religion" by contemporary stereotypes about "affections" or "emotions." Because of this, it is rare that either Wesley's friends or his critics appreciate his sophisticated understanding of affective reality.To make clear what Wesley meant when he emphasized the renewal of the heart, Gregory S. Clapper summarizes some recent paradigm-changing accounts of the nature of "emotion" produced by contemporary philosophers and theologians, and then applies them to Wesley's conception of the heart and its affections. These accounts of emotion throw new light on Wesley's vision of Christianity as a renewal of the heart and make it possible to reclaim the language of the heart, not as a pandering or manipulative rhetoric, but as the framework for a comprehensive theological vision of Christian life and thought. The book closes with several practical applications that make clear the power of Wesley's vision to transform lives today.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781606085424
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/1/2010
  • Pages: 164
  • Sales rank: 1,021,136
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.38 (d)

Meet the Author

Gregory S. Clapper is Professor of Religion and Philosophy at the University of Indianapolis and is Affiliate Professor of United Methodist Studies at Christian Theological Seminary. He has authored many articles and four books, including As If the Heart Mattered: A Wesleyan Spirituality (1997).

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Part I "Heart Religion" in Wesley's Own Voice

1 Not "What Is Christianity?" but "Who is a Christian?" 3

2 Wesley and Scripture on the Heart and its Renewal 17

Part II Wesley's "Heart Religion" Meets Twenty-First-Century Emotion Theory

3 Overcoming the Obstacles to Hearing Wesley's Voice Today 33

4 Why Depth of Emotion is not the Same as Intensity of Feeling 52

5 Wesley's Orthokardia: The Genesis, and Telos of the Affections 68

Part III The Joyful Work of Heart Renewal Today

6 Teaching for the Renewal of the Heart 91

7 Renewing the Heart through Preaching, Counseling, and Evangelism 107

Bibliography 133

Index 233

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