Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Re: [Wesleyan Theology] Grid

Expand Messages
  • Andrew B. Glos
    ... there was ... traditions ... The great big classocal distinction between Catholicism and the various protestant traditions (Welseyan, Calvinist, Lutheran,
    Message 1 of 8 , Sep 20, 2007
      > "Craig L. Adams" <craigadams1@...>
      wrote:
      > I've got a few ideas (as you might guess), but I wondered if
      there was
      > anyone else out there with some bright ideas: How do these
      traditions
      > differ on these issues. How would you sum it up?


      The great big classocal distinction between Catholicism and the
      various protestant traditions (Welseyan, Calvinist, Lutheran, et
      al.) is the issue of how we are made right with God.

      For all Protestants, it is faith in Jesus Christ and the grace
      offered by God through Him and this faith alone.

      Catholics (who I feel should generally be called "Roman" Catholics
      since we are no less a part of the universal church than they) have
      never rejected the importance of faith in being made right with God.
      Their quip is with the "alone" piece. For them, God judges us by our
      faith AND our good work. This is why there is that Roman Catholic
      insistance on doing ritual and penances and good works in order to
      please the Lord.

      Wesley was the worst of the Protestants in this regard: He believed
      in justification by faith alone. He wrote a lovely sermon on the
      topic for Oxford. One of his best, in many ways.

      However, Wesley generally spoke - in his more devotional and less-
      technical spiritual writings as if he were a Roman Catholic. He
      spoke justification by faith alone, but spoke very regularly about
      how if your faith does not lead to good works it is no faith at all.
      In fact, he spoke so often about it, many Roman Catholics mistake
      Wesley as a pseudo-sympathizer to their "faith AND works" agenda.
      However, he was also careful to give primacy to faith.

      In all this, Wesley is just a good "Bible moth" (his phrase, not
      mine). He is preaching James' letter. Or, at least, he is preaching
      James the way I also read James.

      Hope some of this helps.

      Andrew
    • Andrew B. Glos
      ... he is ... I think the tricky thing about Wesley is that he is distinctively his own, but he does not want to be. Thomas Oden is very right when he speaks
      Message 2 of 8 , Sep 20, 2007
        --- In wesleyantheology@yahoogroups.com, "Craig L. Adams"
        <craigadams1@...> wrote:

        > A friend is putting together his papers for the Board of Ordained
        > Ministry in the UMC. They ask him his understanding of this, and
        he is
        > looking for help.


        I think the tricky thing about Wesley is that he is distinctively
        his own, but he does not want to be. Thomas Oden is very right when
        he speaks about the ecumenical nature of Wesley's theology.

        The way I like to put it: Wesley was an Anglican clergyman, who
        started the Methodist movement, after being converted at a Moravian
        Brethren meeting, who taught the Easter Orthodox fathers at Oxford,
        often carried the Roman Catholic devotional "Imitatio Christi" on
        his long trips, and edited many Puritan-Calvinist texts for
        publication as "must-reads".

        Wesleyan theology - perhaps because of our strong sense of common
        grace - has been deeply ecumenical and this often obscurs our
        distinctive nature.

        When we can say the same thing, we agree with our Roman Catholic
        brethren and any other believers in Christ. When we must disagree,
        we side with our Protestant brethren. As for our Protestant
        brethren, ask the informed what they think of our doctrines of
        prevenient grace, conversion, and others and they will remind you of
        how different we are, even where we have forgotten!

        In terms of more technical reading on our Wesleyan
        distinctiveness, I have liked "Wesley and Sanctification" by Harald
        Lindstrom and the more recent "Justified Before God" by Bishop
        Walter Klaiber. Both Europeans for whom these distinctions have
        historical weight that they have never had in the US context.

        Andrew
      • Ken H.
        Catholics may not be that far off target. They surely do believe in saving faith. Works are also essential to them. In reality, I really don t know we can
        Message 3 of 8 , Sep 20, 2007
          Catholics may not be that far off target. They surely do believe in saving faith. Works are also essential to them. In reality, I really don't know we can separate the two. We both believe that works alone do not give up salvation. Salvation is a free gift of God. We cannot work our way into heaven. Faith always comes first, but it is, or should be, expressed by good works. It is like the old hymn said : Trust and Obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey. James had it right when he said that it is like two oars on a boat. Faith and works have to be used side by side. A true Christian is going to demonstrate both faith and works.

          Ken H.

          "Andrew B. Glos" <abglos@...> wrote: > "Craig L. Adams" <craigadams1@...>
          wrote:
          > I've got a few ideas (as you might guess), but I wondered if
          there was
          > anyone else out there with some bright ideas: How do these
          traditions
          > differ on these issues. How would you sum it up?

          The great big classocal distinction between Catholicism and the
          various protestant traditions (Welseyan, Calvinist, Lutheran, et
          al.) is the issue of how we are made right with God.

          For all Protestants, it is faith in Jesus Christ and the grace
          offered by God through Him and this faith alone.

          Catholics (who I feel should generally be called "Roman" Catholics
          since we are no less a part of the universal church than they) have
          never rejected the importance of faith in being made right with God.
          Their quip is with the "alone" piece. For them, God judges us by our
          faith AND our good work. This is why there is that Roman Catholic
          insistance on doing ritual and penances and good works in order to
          please the Lord.

          Wesley was the worst of the Protestants in this regard: He believed
          in justification by faith alone. He wrote a lovely sermon on the
          topic for Oxford. One of his best, in many ways.

          However, Wesley generally spoke - in his more devotional and less-
          technical spiritual writings as if he were a Roman Catholic. He
          spoke justification by faith alone, but spoke very regularly about
          how if your faith does not lead to good works it is no faith at all.
          In fact, he spoke so often about it, many Roman Catholics mistake
          Wesley as a pseudo-sympathizer to their "faith AND works" agenda.
          However, he was also careful to give primacy to faith.

          In all this, Wesley is just a good "Bible moth" (his phrase, not
          mine). He is preaching James' letter. Or, at least, he is preaching
          James the way I also read James.

          Hope some of this helps.

          Andrew






          ---------------------------------
          Looking for a deal? Find great prices on flights and hotels with Yahoo! FareChase.

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Rev. Andrew B. Glos
          ... Well, that is about as fine a representation of the Wesleyan perspective as I have every heard. No further comment . . . Andrew
          Message 4 of 8 , Sep 20, 2007
            --- "Ken H." <khawn@...> wrote:
            > In reality, I really don't know
            > we can separate the two. We both believe that works
            > alone do not give up salvation. Salvation is a free
            > gift of God. We cannot work our way into heaven.
            > Faith always comes first, but it is, or should be,
            > expressed by good works.
            <<<snip>>>
            >Faith and works have to be used side by
            > side. A true Christian is going to demonstrate both
            > faith and works.

            Well, that is about as fine a representation of the
            Wesleyan perspective as I have every heard.

            No further comment . . .

            Andrew
          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.