There is a body of central truths, which belong to the whole of Evangelical Christendom, which are held to be normative by all who maintain the historic Christian Faith. Within the Evangelical Christian position there are also legitimate differences of emphasis with respect to some of these things held in common. It has frequently been these differing emphases, which have enabled the several Christian denominations to enrich the Church's understanding of her total message.
Asbury Theological Seminary stands in the mid-stream of historic Christian Evangelicalism. It also maintains, as its distinctive message, a special emphasis upon the doctrinal principles, which took shape in the eighteenth century in the Wesleyan movement. As an interdenominational, confessional institution, it believes that these Distinctives are worthy of sharing with the Church Ecumenical.
At the Fortieth Anniversary of Asbury Theological Seminary, it has been thought appropriate to issue this volume, setting forth, with what we hope may be a vivid freshness, four of the Seminary's doctrinal emphases. They are: the Wesleyan Doctrine of Sin, the Wesleyan understanding of the Atonement, the Wesleyan Doctrine of the Witness of the Spirit, and the Wesleyan Doctrine of Entire Sanctification. It is with the hope that these presentations may impress the reader with the contemporary relevance of these Wesleyan distinctives, and with the prayer that they may serve to build Christ's Church, that this volume is presented as part of an Anniversary Trilogy.