How to God Makes the World a Better Place
A Wesleyan Primer on Faith, Work, and Economic Transformation
When we were on vacation last summer we stopped at Indiana Wesleyan University which is Dale’s Alma Mater. When he attended the college, our family lived there for five years. When both girls look back at their childhood, they both say their favorite memories were from Marion, IN. We wanted to go back see the college. While we were there we went to the alumni department to change Dale’s address and tell them about our new church. We got to talk to Rick Carder the Director of the Alumni. He gave us some gifts – Indiana Wesleyan swag, one of which was a book. The book was How God Makes the World a Better Place: A Wesleyan Primer of Faith, Work and Economic Transformation by Dr. David Wright. Dr. Wright is the president of Indiana Wesleyan University.
When we got the book all I saw was the word economic transformation. As I started to read it was good. Dr. Wright writes about how God expects Christians to transform the world around us. He uses the ministry of John Wesley and the effect that the Wesleys and the Methodist Club had on the world around them. John Wesley traveled back and forth England preaching salvation where he knew the people need Christ. But in John’s message he made sure that the people knew that salvation was not just a free ticket in to Heaven but God expects our lives to be changed. John placed Methodist Clubs around England to help the people grow in Christ. These clubs had a of rules and demands on the people to make sure the people grew. The people were not only expected to transform their lives but they were also to help transform the world around them.
At one point in the book I read some of the things that John Wesley expected of the people in the Methodist Clubs when it came to helping those around them. Dale replied that it sounded like Democratic party in helping those around us that need help. However Wesley did not think in was the job of the government. In his view was it the job of Christians. John Wesleyan had some questions that were asked to every person who was part of the Methodist Clubs.
Here are the questions
- How can we use our great knowledge and skill to create the most wealth for the most people?
- As we pursue great advance in the world who is getting left behind?
- What are the unintended consequences of our great advances in industry and commerce?
- Who might be getting hurt as we pursue our great opptunities for growth?
In my personal view these are questions that should be asked of the 21st century church, especially the Wesleyan Church.
In the twenty first century, historians have looked back at England’s history. They has credit John Wesleyan and the Methodist Clubs on ending slavery and making better work environments in England. The historians also have said that if it was not for John Wesley England would had a revolution like France. Imagine what would happen to the United States if Christians would follow John Wesley’s teaching.