Let the Wesleyan Movement Begin!

From Wesleyan Blogger Ken Schenck

Don’t get me wrong, there is such a thing as a Wesleyan theology and there can even be a Wesleyan denomination. But I was reminded yesterday by John Wright of Point Loma that Wesley didn’t set out to start a church but to “reform the nation, particularly the Church, and spread Scriptural holiness over the land.”

For some reason I have never applied this insight to the Church today. It has always only been for me a historical reminder that many of those who have started new churches were only originally trying to reform the church they were in.  Sure, we know the charismatic movement, which has found its way into just about every Christian tradition there is. I also believe that there are evangelical Catholics, evangelical Anglicans, evangelical Wesleyans, and so forth.

But what struck me yesterday in a way it never has is that you can have Wesleyan Anglicans, Wesleyan Catholics, Wesleyan Baptists, and even Wesleyan Reformed! What would a Wesleyan movement of this sort look like, one that was not so much a church but a revolution within many churches?

Continue Reading

The Life of John Wesley: A Biographical Sketch

from Seedbed by Andrew Dragos

John Wesley was born in 1703 at Epworth, England, to parents Samuel and Susanna Wesley. His father was rector in the Church of England and his mother a parent to John’s nine other siblings, including renown hymn writer and minister Charles. John Wesley lived during a century when Deism—the idea that God is far-removed from and uninvolved in his creation—was rising in the academy and the Church. It was in this climate that John Wesley’s call and ministry came to fruition, and in which the First Great Awakening answered many profound needs of the culture.

The shape of John Wesley’s call and ministry were profoundly impacted by his upbringing, including his mother’s rigid approach to raising her children. The spiritual heritage of Puritanism, with its emphasis on discipline and personal religious affections, and of Anglicanism, with its sacramental orientation, made its way to Wesley originally through his parents. One event in particular marked his sense of vocation—the saving of his life from a fire at the Epworth rectory in 1709. After this experience, he was regarded as providentially set apart for God, and he referred to himself as a “brand plucked from the fire.”

Continue Reading