Wesley John Wesley Was a Term Paper

Download this Term Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Term Paper:

It is never something we are meant to earn; it is a gift from God. Faith is necessary as a condition of justification by faith, and salvation is for the penalty and the plague of sin (Maddox 144).

Maddox writes that argues that Wesley's view of salvation is best expressed as a via salutis, a way to salvation" rather than a more reformed or scholastic expression of ordo salutis, a logical sequence of steps leading to salvation. Via Salutis, involves distinct way-stops, but each one is intimately related to what has happened at previous stops and prepares the way for future events and pauses in the march to the kingdom. Maddox's interpretation of Wesley's theology as "responsible grace" fits well with via salutis, as each pause on the way to salvation is not only vitally related to what goes on before and after, but the work of God at each waystop calls for an appropriate "response" from the believer which will manifest itself in graciously "responsible" behavior -- morally, spiritually and socially. God's prevenient awakening and conviction are calls meant to elicit a "response" to God's pardon, and pardon calls for "responsible" (as opposed to irresponsible) transforming participation. Wesley and his early American followers certainly wanted to talk more in terms of "free grace" than of "free will." But no matter how it was expressed, the essence of the Wesleyan understanding was something more Arminian than most of the Calvinistic, Reformed competitors of the day (Maddox 73-93). The "responsive" participation will result in "responsible" growth in grace that leads to fullness of transforming grace -- Christian perfection.

Wesley as a practical theologian can be traced from his childhood training and reading of religious books on practical divinity. The approach to Christianity as a practical discipline survived well into the 18th century. The Anglican tradition also shaped his thinking as a practical theologian (Maddox 16). Wesley believed that theology was intimately related to Christian living, and he aimed to transform personal life and social conditions. The message of the gospel, Maddox points out, must be located within people's lives (Maddox 16). Tradition helps enlighten and apply Scripture, and it also must be tested by scripture. Reason is a gift of God, and to experience life is not a sin in and of itself, but the experiences should serve primarily to test one's understanding of scripture, and it must also have scriptural warrant (Maddox 36-46).

Although it is hard to capture here, Maddox provides an in-depth analysis of Wesley's theology. The thread that ties the entire book together, however, is Maddox's thesis that grace is the key to Wesley's theology because grace makes us able to respond to God's grace. We are made response-able. The gift of God's grace also makes us responsible for our own relationship with God. For Wesley, God is more fundamentally like a loving parent than like a sovereign monarch. He will not ultimately force our obedience (Maddox 56). God does not place "holy tempers" like love, patience and meekness into human beings. Instead, he plants the "seeds," and for those seeds to strengthen, they need continuous grace by God and improved by regular engagement in the practical life that God has designed, which allows us to "manifest all holy and heavenly tempers, even the same 'mind that was in Christ Jesus'" (Maddox 178-9).

Regardless of how complicated the nuances of Wesley's theology are, the "orienting content" of Maddox's work is grace and salvation, and how each is obtained. Concurrently, Wesley emphasizes that the articulation of ideas alone is not enough. Ideas must be lived, tested, experienced, and affirmed as consistent with the "way of salvation," and a living Wesleyan theology requires this practice.


Bevins, W. "A Pentacostal Appropriation of the Wesleyan Quadrilatiral" the Pneuma Foundation. 34th Annual Meeting of the Society for Pentecostal Studies (Web) 11 March 2010

Hambrick, M. And Lodahl, M. "Responsible Grace in Christology? John Wesley's Rendering of Jesus in the Epistle to the Hebrews." Annual Meeting of the Wesleyan Theological Society

Olivet Nazarene University (March, 2007). Web. 11 March 2010.

Maddox, Randy. Responsible Grace: John Wesley's Practical Theology. Nashville. Kingswood Books. 1994. Print

Oden, Thomas C.…[continue]

Cite This Term Paper:

"Wesley John Wesley Was A" (2011, March 16) Retrieved October 23, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/wesley-john-was-a-3678

"Wesley John Wesley Was A" 16 March 2011. Web.23 October. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/wesley-john-was-a-3678>

"Wesley John Wesley Was A", 16 March 2011, Accessed.23 October. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/wesley-john-was-a-3678

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • John Wesley Represents an Important

    Wesley comes and underlines this fact by connecting the humanly actions, registered by the good deeds and the honest and austere way of life, with the state of perfect. Thus, the Christian becomes perfect when he has attained the complete love for God. This is due, in his belief, to the absolution of sins and thus returns to the original state at birth. This final aspect is significant particularly because

  • John Wesley Challenges and Gifts

    67). Of all of the events that chronicled in the book, the fire stands out as the most poignant force that helped to shape John Wesley's life. After this, Wesley developed the idea that god had saved him because he had a purpose for his life. Thinking all was lost, Wesley's father knelt in prayer when John was rescued just before the building collapsed (Collins, p. 14). Samuel Wesley prayed

  • John Wesley Questions on the

    For those who have achieved or been granted certain comforts, I would impress upon the congregation, such fortune has been accompanied by God's desire to see that this good fortune is shared. I would use my role in the Church to find ways to engage with poorer communities outside of our own, to create and empower an internal volunteer corps through which congregants can reach these communities and to establish

  • Christianity John Wesley s Many Distinctive

    70). The emphasis that Wesley placed on Christians having a conscience set a standard and a tone for what Methodists would do many decades later in the United States. Some may argue that prominent Methodists taking positions on social issues (like terrible workers' conditions in factories; the slaughter of Native Americans; etc.) was out of the purview of a Christian organization, nonetheless "human morality" was on the line for

  • Flood Narrative When God Flooded

    The real question is not which party is right or wrong, but rather, what lessons can be learned and applied to modern man. The Warnings in Genesis 7: 21-24 In these verses, we learn that God tried to warn his children, but on the day of the flood, they were still eating and drinking without abandon. They did not heed the final warning. This demonstrates that God was not set on

  • Ignoring Sin A Look at

    There is no judgment from God on the believer, nor annoyance with God in respect to the believer -- neither in the last day nor today. From a familial aspect, God is significantly displeased with our behavior and punishment is sure -- either from God or from our own consequences of that sin. One could look at David's prayer of repentance in Psalm 51 to see the devastating effects of

  • Leadership True Leadership a Leader Is Someone

    Leadership True leadership A leader is someone who has the ability to influence others in order to achieve a common goal. A true leader for that matter is one who does not have selfish interests but the interests of those whom he or she relates with (Dr. Woodroffe Noel, 2012). This best describes John Wesley, the founder of 'youth with a mission'. Considering the fact that the organization mostly dealt with people from

Read Full Term Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved