Aldersgate and Athens: John Wesley and the Foundations of by William J. Abraham

By William J. Abraham

In his day, John Wesley provided vital insights on the best way to receive wisdom of God that bears fruit in our personal occasions. As foremost Wesleyan student William Abraham indicates, Wesley's most renowned non secular event is rife with philosophical importance and implications. all through, Abraham brings Wesley's paintings into fruitful dialog with the most vital paintings in modern epistemology. Lyrically and succinctly he explores the simultaneous epistemological quest and religious pilgrimage that have been principal to Wesley and the Evangelical Revival of the eighteenth century. In so doing, he presents a discovered and eye-opening meditation upon the connection among cause and religion.

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When our diagnosing God gives way to our thanking and even praising God, we shall know for sure that we have been made new. 27 Thus far I have sought to do two things. First, I have summarized the nature and place of personal experience of God in Wesley. Second, I have shown how Wesley’s views are by no means archaic or idiosyncratic. In fact, nearly every single one of his concerns is readily visible in some of the very best work in recent philosophy of religion. Yet, in closing, we need to stand back and answer an obvious objection or worry.

If we take what I have outlined here seriously, then we shall look on our practices not just pragmatically but theologically and spiritually. Finally, can we not believe that the Holy Spirit will gather up even these efforts and use them to foster knowledge of the Triune God? Even in this work on faith and reason we can seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Even in this work we can hope and pray that God will draw people to himself. Even in this work we can come to a deeper knowledge of God in our own personal journey from sin to salvation and from time into eternity.

Precisely the same worry besets the argument from fulfillment of divine promises, inward perception, and conspicuous sanctity. Sometimes these take the form of what we can only call spectacular phenomena. Wesley himself knew this in that he was aware that Christian conversion (a term we may use here as a summary for what was at stake) could indeed be spectacular. Equally, it is often the case that the saints exhibit sanctity that can only be described as spectacular. On the other side, much of what counts as charismatic phenomena is far from spectacular.

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Aldersgate and Athens: John Wesley and the Foundations of by William J. Abraham
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