A Man Of One Book?

A Man Of One Book?


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John Wesley claimed to be a man of one book, and early Wesley scholarship accepted uncritically that the Bible was his supreme authority. In the late twentieth century, American Wesley scholars discussed what has been termed the Wesley Quadrilateral (the authority of the Bible, tradition, reason, and experience), and this to some extent helps explain the method by which Wesley read and interpreted the Bible. However, modern biblical reader-response criticism has drawn attention to the central role of the reader in his/her interpretation of scriptural texts. Donald Bullen argues that Wesley came to the Bible as a reader with the presuppositions of an eighteenth-century High Church, Arminian Anglican, in which tradition he had grown up. He then found his beliefs confirmed in the scriptural text. Claiming to base all his beliefs on the Bible, he found himself in controversy with others who made similar claims but came to different conclusions. The implications of this are explored in depth.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781556354908
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date: 12/01/2007
Series: Studies in Evangelical History and Thought Series
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 6.06(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.59(d)

About the Author

Donald A. Bullen is a Methodist minister, ordained in 1959. he is interested in the origins of the Methodist Church. Following retirement in 1997 he undertook serious academic research, including his doctoral thesis on John Wesley and the way in which he interpreted and read the Bible. He is firmly committed to the ecumenical movement.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"This exciting book explains how John Wesley read the Bible as a philosophically informed High Church, Arminian Anglican and how he was thereby able to reconcile scripture, reason, and tradition in a way which remains exemplary and important."

—R. John Elford, Liverpool Hope University

"This is an important contribution to two disciplines—biblical scholarship and Wesley studies—and I am delighted to see it published."

—Kenneth G. C. Newport, from the Foreword

"Dr. Bullen has produced a comprehensive and illuminating study of John Wesley's doctrine and use of the Bible. He makes clear that, though for Wesley Scripture was always the supreme authority for faith and life, he also made creative use of tradition, reason, and personal experience as offering contemporary, as well as historical, understanding for Christian Bible study."

—John A. Newton, CBE, Wesley Historical Society

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