LUKEWARM & Wesley’s Quote About It Being a Worse Fate Than Open Sin

From John Wesley: A Theological Journey, by Kenneth J. Collins (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2003).

wesley-quote-on-lukewarm-copy

CONVERSION & Sanctification is “the progressive, lifelong aspect of conversion” according to Willimon

wesley-willimon-quote-on-holistic-conversion-copy

William Willimon, Pastor: The theology and practice of ordained ministry (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2002, p. 363.

HISTORY & Why did the English once try to ban Christmas, just one generation before John Wesley’s birth?

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: Why did the English parliamentarian Thomas Cromwell, along with some English Puritans, try to abolish Christmas as a secular holiday? Well, it wasn’t the average committed Puritan who sought this, but rather an extreme and small group that felt Christmas was being overshadowed by secular and often sinful celebration. Read this article for a brief background.

Did Oliver Cromwell really ban Christmas?

In June 1647 Parliament passed an Ordinance that abolished Christmas Day as a feast day and holiday

by Jonny Wilkes, BBC History Magazine, 12/22/15.

While Cromwell certainly supported the move, and subsequent laws imposing penalties for those who continued to enjoy Christmas, he does not seem to have played much of a role in leading the campaign.

Throughout the medieval period, Christmas Day had been marked by special church services, and by magnificent feasts accompanied by heavy drinking. The subsequent 12 Days of Christmas saw more special services along with sports, games and more eating and drinking.

By the early 17th Century Puritans and other firm Protestants were seeing the Christmas jollifications as unwelcome survivors of Catholicism as well as excuses for all manner of sins.

There was a widespread, though minority view, that Christmas should be a fast day devoted to sober religious contemplation. The defeat of King Charles I in the Civil War put the more extreme Protestants into power and so Parliament passed a series of measures to enforce this campaign on others…

Read more at … http://www.historyextra.com/feature/no-christmas-under-cromwell-puritan-assault-christmas-during-1640s-and-1650s

Wesley & the Poor: You cannot help only at a distance

“But is there need of visiting them in person?

May we not relieve them at a distance?

Does it not answer the same purpose if we send them help as if we carry it ourselves?’

… But this is not properly ‘visiting the sick’; it is another thing. The word which we render ‘visit’ in its literal acceptation means to ‘look upon’. And this, you well know, cannot be done unless you are present with them.

Wesley, J. (2013). “On Visiting the Sick,” in The sermons of John Wesley: A collection for the Christian journey. K.J. Collins & J.E. Vickers (Eds.). Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, Kindle Edition.  (The above was cited by Barb R. in LEAD 600.  Good sleuthing Barb.)

WESLEY & A Comparison of His 3 Types of Existance

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 12/5/15.

John Wesley noted that people generally existed in a journey through three waypoints (or stages): natural existence, legal existence and evangelical existence.  Put forth most famously in Wesley’s “The Spirit of Bondage and the Spirit of Adoption” (1746), Thomas Oden’s helpful introduction prepares the reader to understand these important waypoints in spiritual discovery.

These categories are not too dissimilar to my friend and colleague Ed Stetzer’s categories of “cultural Christians” (somewhere between Wesley’s natural-legal continuum) and “conversion Christians.”  In Stetzer’s typology, Wesley’s conversion took place at Aldersgate. But since in Wesley’s day “evangelical” did not have today’s negative media connotation (and hence perhaps Stetzer’s aversion to its use), I believe that if Wesley lived today, due to his emphasis upon conversion, he would embrace Stetzer’s designation of “conversion Christian.” Wesley certainly after his Aldersgate experience places conversion as the fulcrum upon which his methodology and theology would emerge.

Here is a screenshot of Oden’s helpful introduction to the idea:

oden-on-wesley-on-conversion

Buy the book at … https://books.google.com/books?id=8qqtss5N6cYC&pg=PA277&dq=John+wesley+natural+legal+evangelical&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwipxrLx_MTJAhUF6CYKHSUsDTYQ6AEIHTAA#v=onepage&q=John%20wesley%20natural%20legal%20evangelical&f=false

Hear more about John Wesley’s conversion and his experience of the interplay of these three existences at …http://livestre.am/5fQ0e

WESLEY & Videos from the Manchester Wesley Research Centre

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: Our seminary is a partner with the Manchester Wesley Research Centre (MWRC), a leading research center in Manchester, England which twice yearly sponsors live presentations on Wesley research.

Here are links to videos from the presentations:

http://original.livestream.com/ntcmanchester/video?clipId=pla_b83bc151-7d1a-46c2-a5c9-2466b331f160

http://livestre.am/5fQ0e

 

WESLEY & A Picture of His Last Letter (Which Was Against Slavery)

by Heather Hahn, Dec. 1, 2015, Madison, N.J. (United Methodist News Service).

Just six days before his death, John Wesley roused himself to write one last letter.

The United Methodist Commission on Archives and History shares its vaults with Drew University, which has John Wesley’s last letter as part of its collection. Photo by Fran Walsh, United Methodist Communications

(The United Methodist Commission on Archives and History shares its vaults with Drew University, which has John Wesley’s last letter as part of its collection. Photo by Fran Walsh, United Methodist Communications)

The 87-year-old’s goal: To encourage a fellow abolitionist to keep the faith in the fight against slavery.

“O be not weary of well doing!” Methodism’s founder wrote to William Wilberforce, the famed abolitionist in the British Parliament. “Go on, in the name of God and in the power of his might, till even American slavery (the vilest that ever saw the sun) shall vanish away before it.”

Wesley’s original letter is one of the treasures preserved in the vaults of the United Methodist Commission on Archives and History. The agency, housed at United Methodist-related Drew University, offers materials — like that letter — that connect church members with their Wesleyan heritage.

“We’re the family album of The United Methodist Church,” said the Rev. Alfred T. Day III, the top executive of Archives and History since 2014…

Read more at … http://www.umc.org/news-and-media/for-churchgoers-treasures-from-the-family-album.