The Theology of John Wesley: Holy Love and the Shape of Grace [NOOK Book]


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 ...
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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 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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426728990
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 1,158,247
  • File size: 599 KB

Meet the Author

Kenneth J. Collins is Professor of Historical Theology and Wesley Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore Kentucky, and an elder in the Kentucky Conference of The United Methodist Church. He also teaches at the Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary in Estonia, and is a member of the Wesleyan Theological Society, Wesley Historical Society, and Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality. He is the author of A Real Christian: The Life of John Wesley, The Scripture Way of Salvation: The Heart of John Wesley's Theology, co-editor of Conversion in the Wesleyan Tradition, and John Wesley: A Theological Journey.
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Table of Contents

Introduction: John Wesley's Practical Divinity: A Theology of Holy Love 1

John Wesley as a Practical Theologian 1

The Style of Wesley's Practical Theology 3

The Axial Theme of Wesley's Practical Theology 5

The Axial Theme of Holiness and Grace 6

Holiness as Holy Love: The First Half of the Axial Theme 6

Law and Grace 10

Grace: The Other Half of the Axial Theme 11

Work of God Alone/Synergism 12

Favor/Empowerment 13

Receiving/Responding 14

Instantaneous/Process 15

The Flow of the Book 16

Chapter 1 The God of Holy Love 19

The Personal and Essential Attributes of God 19

Holy Love 20

Eternity 22

Omnipresence 23

Omniscience 25

Omnipotence 26

The Essential Attributes and Predestination 29

The Work of God/Father 33

Creator 34

Sovereign 37

Governor 38

The Moral Law 39

Providential Provider 40

Summary of the Attributes 42

Today and Tomorrow: Recent Trends in Cosmology 43

Chapter 2 Humanity: Created in Holy Love, Fallen in Nature 49

Humanity Created as Complex Beings 50

The Image of God 51

The Fall of Humanity 57

The Effects of the Fall 59

Original Sin 64

How Original Sin Is Transferred 66

The Consequences of Original Sin 68

Total Depravity 70

Prevenient Grace 73

The Benefits of Prevenient Grace 77

Today and Tomorrow: Contemporary Views of the Self 82

Chapter 3 Jesus Christ: The God of Holy Love Revealed 87

The Person of Christ 88

The Divine Nature 88

The Human Nature 92

The Work of Christ 95

Prophet 96

Priest 98

Atonement 99

Objective Elements 103

Subjective Elements 108

King 110

Today and Tomorrow: The Christ of the Qur'an 113

Chapter 4 The Holy Spirit:The Presence of the God of Holy Love 121

Administrator of Redemption 122

Convincing Grace 122

The Moral Law 123

The Presence of the Spirit as Holy Love 124

The Gifts and Fruit of the Spirit 127

The Assurance of the Holy Spirit 129

Assurance Nuanced 131

The Full Assurance of Faith 136

The Question of a Specialized Vocabulary 137

The Full Assurance of Hope 140

The Perceptibility of Grace 142

The Trinity 143

The Filioque Clause 144

Wesley on Trinitarian Language 145

The Trinity and the Language of Holy Love 148

Today and Tomorrow: The Rise of Pentecostal Religion 149

Chapter 5 Justification: The God of Holy Love for Us 155

Co-operant Grace (Catholic Emphasis) 155

Repentance 156

Works Suitable for Repentance 157

The Necessity of Repentance and Works Suitable Thereto 158

Free Grace (Protestant Emphasis) 160

Justifying Faith 165

Justification Itself: The First Focus of the Wesleyan Order of Salvation 169

Justification as Freedom from Guilt: The First Liberty of the Gospel 172

Imputation 174

The Question of Sola Fide 176

Justification and Regeneration Are Linked 181

The Difference between Acceptance and Justification 182

Temporal Elements as the Key 184

Today and Tomorrow: The Realities of Forgiveness 189

Chapter 6 The New Birth: The God of Holy Love in Us 195

Regenerating Grace as the Favor of God 196

Regenerating Grace as the Power of God 197

The Contribution of Peter Bohler 199

Defining Regeneration 200

The New Birth as a Necessary Change 205

The New Birth as a Vast Change 207

The Influence of German Pietism 208

The New Birth as a Crucial Change 211

The Contribution of August Hermann Francke 214

The Temporal Elements as Key 215

The New Birth as Liberating Change: The Second Liberty of the Gospel 217

Did Wesley Maintain His Standard of the New Birth? 222

The New Birth as the Freedom to Love God and Neighbor 226

Today and Tomorrow: Conversion Revisited 229

Chapter 7 The Church and the Means of Grace: The Community of Holy Love 237

The Church 238

The Church in Decline 240

Methodism as a Reform of the Church 244

The Significance of German Pietism and Moravianism 247

The Methodist Infrastructure 249

The Practical Christian Life 253

The Means of Grace 257

The Instituted Means of Grace 257

The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper 259

The Sacrament of Baptism 262

Prudential Means of Grace 266

Works of Mercy 267

Today and Tomorrow: What Are They Thinking about Natural Law and Politics? 270

Chapter 8 Entire Sanctification: The Purity and Excellence of Holy Love 279

Evangelical Repentance 280

Works Suitable for Repentance 282

Faith 286

The Balance of Wesley's Conception of Grace 288

The Temporal Dimensions of Entire Sanctification 293

Entire Sanctification Itself: The Second Focus of the Wesleyan Order of Salvation 297

What Entire Sanctification Is Not 298

What Entire Sanctification Is: The Third Liberty of the Gospel 300

The Full Assurance of Faith 303

Pastoral Considerations on the Way to Eternity 304

Today and Tomorrow: Rethinking the Wesleyan Ordo Salutis? 307

Chapter 9 Eschatology and Glorification: The Triumph of Holy Love 313

Revivalism and Millennialism 314

Eschatology and the Reign of God 316

Death 316

The Intermediate State 318

Resurrection and Judgment 320

Final Justification 321

The Question of Merit 322

The New Creation 324

Today and Tomorrow: John Wesley's Practical Theology as a Resource for Discipleship and Service 327

Notes 333

Selected Bibliography 401

Index 413

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2007

    Holy Love: The Heart of Wesley's Theology

    Here is an engaging text that readers will find helpful not only in obtaining a better grasp of Wesley's theology but also in understanding how that theology is relevant, in a very practical way, to their own lives and culture. The book employs an eighteenth century lens (Wesley's own thought), but then it transitions to the twenty-first century as well. The 'Today and Tomorrow' sections at the end of each chapter are outstanding. I especially appreciate the manner in which Collins thoughtfully engages various interpretations of Wesley's theology and the evidence he presents from Wesley's own writings to support his conclusions. While this book is definitely written on a scholarly level, the author's appealing style of writing makes it accessible to readers of many backgrounds. The Theology of John Wesley: Holy Love and the Shape of Grace is an excellent resource for anyone who desires to know both the form and substance of Wesley's theology as well as its ongoing significance. Holy love really is at the heart of it all.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted August 27, 2010

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