At it’s heart, the theology of John Wesley stressed the life of Christian holiness: to love God with all one’s heart, mind, soul and strength and to love one’s neighbor as oneself. Wesley’s teaching also stressed experienced religion and moral responsibility.
Wesley organized his followers into small groups, which met for prayer and study and spiritual accountability.
While John Wesley never intended to separate from the Church of England, the Methodist movement soon began to take on a life of it’s own, and the Methodist churches in North America and England were soon formed. The Methodist movement has had vast influence and many other Christian denominations have grown out of it (either directly or indirectly) including the AME, CME, AME Zion, Wesleyan, Free Methodist, Church of the Nazarene, and many other Holiness and Pentecostal churches.
"But it is not part of my design, to save either learned or unlearned men from the trouble of thinking.... On the contrary, my intention is, to make them think, and assist them in thinking. This is the way to understand the things of God."
— John Wesley (From the Preface to Explanatory Notes upon the Old Testament.)
In a way, it's a little hard to define what Wesleyan theology is and what it isn't — since few people agree with Wesley on everything he ever wrote.
But, for many of us the life, ministry and writings of John Wesley are a continuing source of inspiration and direction for us in our own theological reflection and in our spiritual lives. And, this page is intended to be an invitation into that process of reflection and discovery.
What are Methodists, Anyway?
Some Things that Methodism Stands For by Bishop W. F. Mallalieu 1903
A Hopeful Outlook for Methodism by Daniel Steele 1896
What John Wesley Actually Said about the Bible
No! John Wesley Did Not Burn His Old Sermons! ( And, Other Things Wesley Never Said)
Ben Witherington: Why a Wesleyan Approach to Theology
Wesleyan Perspectives on Faith
Toward a Wesleyan Eschatology
Steele on “Sin, Infirmity & Atonement”
Sanctification as a Central Theme
Eradication of the Sin Nature? Huh?
Evangelical, Wesleyan, Egalitarian
Women Leaders in the Wesleyan Movements
Binney & Steele on "Women's Sphere in the Church"
Wesley & Spiritual Gifts
Spirit Baptism: Wesleyanism & Pentecostalism
Wesley, Justification, Baptism and Confusion
Holiness and the Bible
Sanctification and Fanaticism
Wesleyan Perspectives on Faith
A Wesleyan Perspective on Human Sexuality
Bob Buehler: Reversing the Flow of Contagion
Christ & Non-Christians
John Wesley, the Hopeful Inclusivist
Grace & the Unevangelized
Hopeful Inclusivism (Some Quotes)
Some Helpful Wesleyan Perspectives
Reflections on the Last Judgment
How I Still Think Like a Methodist
Why I Still Find Wesleyan Theology Interesting
Whatever Happened to the Wesleyan Movement?
Articles on Arminianism vs. Calvinism
The 5 Points of Arminius (in his own words)
Calvin on John 3:16
Calvinism and John 6:44
Faith is Not a Work
The Wesleyan Covenant Prayer
The Holiness Texts of John Wesley. Introduction. Matthew 5:8. Ezekiel 36:25, 26, 29. Matthew 5:48. Matthew 6:10. Matthew 22:37. John 8:34-36. John 17:17-23. Romans 2:29.
On Common But False John Wesley Quotes: Wesley Did Not Burn His Old Sermons! (And, Other Things Wesley Never Said).
Wesley Quotes: The New Birth. Two Paths. On Prayer. On Being Open to Correction. "Methodists" Described. New Year 1785. The Whole of Christian Perfection. "Speak and Spare Not." A Man of One Book. On Pelagius. Neglect of Private Prayer. A Test of Spiritual Experiences. The Nature of True Faith. The Original Design of the Church. The Original Design of the Methodists. The Nature of Christian Salvation. Preaching Alone Is Not Enough. The Witness of the Spirit. The Purpose of Christ's Coming. The Purpose of Life. Offering Salvation to Every Creature. Why Aren't All Saved? Charity's Almighty Call. The Faith That Saves. Can Any Christian Revival Continue? Those Who Judge the Law. On Self Denial. Against Theological Indifference. "All Devoted to God."
to further information:
These books reflect the teachings of the 19th Century Holiness movement. They are about Wesleyan theology and the Wesleyan teaching on Christian Perfection. Click the link above for more information.
There are several articles and links here on various topics in Christian Theology. Some of these reflect a distinctly Wesleyan approach to the issues, but many do not. Click the link above for more information.
There are several articles, books and links at this site. You can discover them by clicking through the Portals above. Here are some suggestions, though, to get you started. These two books are particularly important expositions of Wesley’s teachings:
- Wesley and Sanctification by Harald Lindström (1947).
- Christian Perfection as Taught by John Wesley (edited by J. A. Wood)