Item description for The Theology of John Wesley: Holy Love and the Shape of Grace by Kenneth J. Collins...
Overview A rich articulation of John Wesley's theology that is appreciative of the old and mindful of the new, faithful to the past and attentive to the present.
Publishers Description A rich articulation of John Wesley's theology that is appreciative of the old and mindful of the new, faithful to the past and attentive to the present. This work carefully displays John Wesley's eighteenth century theology in its own distinct historical and social location, but then transitions to the twenty-first century through the introduction of contemporary issues. So conceived, the book is both historical and constructive demonstrating that the theology of Wesley represents a vibrant tradition. Cognizant of Wesley's own preferred vocabulary, Collins introduces Wesley's theological method beginning with a discussion of the doctrine of God. "In this insightful exposition the leitmotif of holy love arises out of Wesley's reflection on the nature of the divine being as well as other major doctrines." (Douglas Meeks)
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Studio: Abingdon Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9" Width: 6" Height: 1.1" Weight: 1.3 lbs.
Release Date Aug 1, 2007
Publisher Abingdon Church Supplies
ISBN 0687646332 ISBN13 9780687646333
Availability 0 units.
More About Kenneth J. Collins
Kenneth J. Collins (Ph.D., Drew University) is professor of historical theology and Wesley studies at Asbury Theological Seminary. He is a nationally known Wesley scholar who has written four books on the subject.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Theology of John Wesley: Holy Love and the Shape of Grace?
Wesleyan Studies Sep 21, 2007
Ken Collins has written another Wesleyan book with new information and facts. Easy to read and interesting. A great addition to Wesley's theology.
An important achievement Sep 2, 2007
The problem and importance of creating a Theology of John Wesley is that Wesley left us no Systematic Theology to study. His theology is found in his sermons, letters, notes and various treatises'. The present work succeeds is organizing Wesley's views on various topics in a useful manner. In such an endeavor, the bias of the writer must be viewed and weighed against the source material from which the writer draws his material. Fortunately, Wesley's writings are all readily available and delightful to read such that students will enjoy studying the source material along with this important book.
It is important, in my opinion that any student wishing to understand Wesley should not rely on a book such as this regardless of its qualities. Rather, "The Theology of John Wesley" should serve as a guide to Wesley's writings and be read alongside of them rather than in their stead. Wesley's concepts are quite fluid at times and evolved over time and a full understanding of Wesley can only come from reading the material first hand as it developed and evolved and in its historic context.
Unlike a systematic theology that seeks to define and answer all if not most theological issues, this is a book about John Wesley's theology which was more focussed and certainly not systematic or comprehensive. It is not, therefore, a substitute for the study of classic systematic theology. Wesley's goal in life was not to produce a systematic theology but to come to a personal understanding of God and our relationship to Him and as important, to save souls through preaching and creating a vehicle for evangelism called Methodism. Therefore, Wesley's theology was living, breathing, theoretical and applied whose singular thrust was for salvation of all.
Dr. Collins writes lucidly and I believe he fairly interprets Wesley's viewpoints on the issues raised in the book. There are some areas that are not as clearly presented as we would expect in a systematic theology. An example is God's relationship to man and the Moral Law. The apparent lack of clarity may reflect Wesley more than Dr. Collins. Furthermore, the text does not always bring into discussion other theological views which may be in contrast or augment that of Wesley unless vital to Wesley's argument. An example is the discussion of how sin entered the world. The Augustine view of evil being the privation of good is an example. Wesley's assertion that Satan introduced sin into the world must be read in context of Augustine lest we fall into the trap of making God the author of Sin. The author's conclusion may better be stated: "that Satan and unregenerate man are depraved and the vehicles through which sin is worked out in creation." Satan, as a created being, is part of creation and therefore could not have created sin de novo. Regardless, the reader must remember that these are Wesley's views and should familiarize him/herself with the full repertoire of historical and current lines of thought.
I believe that the student wishing to understand Wesley will find this book an excellent teacher and guide, a resource to be read and reread as Wesley's original material is primarily studied.
I am glad that a solitary text cannot substitute for reading Wesley. It would be tragic and a great loss for students to miss the joy and blessing of reading Wesley.
Finally, Dr. Collins draws much from Wesley's great sermon "The Image of God" which is not available in all collections of Wesley's sermons and, to the best of my knowledge, not available on line. This one sermon, this gem, contains much Wesley was to offer. It is published in the "John Wesley's Sermons: An Anthology" edited by Outler.
Holy Love: The Heart of Wesley's Theology Aug 28, 2007
Here is an engaging text that readers will find helpful not only in obtaining a better grasp of Wesley's theology but also in understanding how that theology is relevant, in a very practical way, to their own lives and culture. The book employs an eighteenth century lens (Wesley's own thought), but then it transitions to the twenty-first century as well. The "Today and Tomorrow" sections at the end of each chapter are outstanding. I especially appreciate the manner in which Collins thoughtfully engages various interpretations of Wesley's theology and the evidence he presents from Wesley's own writings to support his conclusions. While this book is definitely written on a scholarly level, the author's appealing style of writing makes it accessible to readers of many backgrounds. The Theology of John Wesley: Holy Love and the Shape of Grace is an excellent resource for anyone who desires to know both the form and substance of Wesley's theology as well as its ongoing significance. Holy love really is at the heart of it all.