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Responsible Grace: John Wesley's Practical Theology (Kingswood Series) [Paperback]

By Randy Maddox (Author)
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Item description for Responsible Grace: John Wesley's Practical Theology (Kingswood Series) by Randy Maddox...

The central purpose of this book is to provide a reflective overview of John Wesley's characteristic theological activities and convictions. One special focus is highlighting the practical theological dynamics of Wesley's work as theologian, and suggesting possible implications for contemporary attempts to recover theology as a practical discipline.

Publishers Description
Of special focus in this reflective overview of Wesley's theological convictions is highlighting the practical-theological dynamics of Wesley's work and suggesting possible implications for contemporary attempts to recover theology as a practical discipline. Another distinctive focus of this work is a systematic consideration of the integration of theological emphases traditionally divergent in Eastern and Western Christianity. The author also closely examines the consistency of Wesley's thought throughout his career.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Kingswood Books
Pages   418
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.07" Width: 6.06" Height: 0.99"
Weight:   1.2 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 1, 1994
Publisher   Abingdon Church Supplies
Series  Kingswood Books  
ISBN  0687003342  
ISBN13  9780687003341  

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1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology

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Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Protestant Denominations

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Reviews - What do customers think about Responsible Grace: John Wesley's Practical Theology (Kingswood Series)?

Post-Grace Growth: A Wesleyan Perspective  Apr 16, 2008
Like Christ before him, John Wesley somehow never found the time to develop and articulate a systematic theology. Instead, in letters and sermons and well-reasoned articles, Wesley left us practical insight about grace, faith and holiness.

Here Randy Maddox, one of today's eminent Wesley scholars, integrates key aspects of Wesley's theology with other historic lines of thought, both eastern and western in origin. The result is a fair and balanced look at the ways in which Wesley's thinking conforms to normative Christian practice and belief, while also informing prior understandings with a new appreciation for the role of grace in moving us forward.

Students and teachers of practical theology will find much to appreciate and value here. Pastors and leaders in the Wesleyan stream will discover new ways in which their faith tradition is contextually related to previous iterations of Christian thought.

A book for scholars --- yet written with engaging and articulate style.

Dr. David Frisbie
The Center for Marriage & Family Studies
Author of: Marriage Ministry in the 21st Century: The Encyclopedia of Practical Ideas
Integration of Theology  Jan 18, 2004
Wesley is such a complicated figure that any attempt to explain him must be a daunting task. Maddox is well qualified to take on the task. One aspect I appreciate in this book is Maddox's input to a growing trend of Wesleyan scholars that see Wesley's theology as more of an attempt at synthesis (Protestant, Roman, Eastern) than blazing new ground. This removes Wesley from the fringe of historic Christianity (much to the chagrine of reform theologians) and places him smack dab in the center.

Does Maddox accomplish his task? You be the judge of that.

ONE WARNING: As you can tell by my review, this is not light reading. If you aren't prepared for it, this book may end up gathering dust on your shelf.

A Systematic Theology for a Non-Systematic Theologian  Feb 19, 2001
In this excellent book by Randy Maddox, we encounter perhaps the finest attempt to systematically portray John Wesley's unsystematized theology. Maddox is suitably humble in his attempt, not claiming to be completely authoritative concerning Wesley, but recognizing that there is a real need to make an honest attempt at the project. Indeed, the greatest praise goes to the author for even attempting such a daunting project. Any portrayal of Wesley's theology must navigate the shoals of innumerable contradictions in Wesley himself, as well as the simple fact that Wesley expressed his theological convictions in writings that addressed specific situations and circumstances. He never wrote a treatise in line with the theological conventions that dominate the Academy.

All the praise I have for Maddox must be tempered, however, by the observation that he was not able to avoid the inevitable -- a Wesleyan systematic theology that spoke as much about him as it did about Wesley. Maddox over does it when he stresses the importance of Wesley's 'connection' to Eastern Church Fathers whose ideas of theosis are said to have shaped Wesley. This is doubtful to the degree that Maddox portrays it. Wesley was shaped more fundamentally, I think, by Pietist notions of holy living (which resemble in many ways Eastern notions of theosis). Likewise, Wesley was well acquainted with other Western writers who shared an interest in finding the 'way to heaven.' To place as much of the weight of his argument on an Eastern connection is not justified by the evidence that the author gives.

All in all, however, this is an excellent resource for those studying Wesley and his theology. But the reader needs to know that they still need to do more reading elsewhere -- though they would want to make sure not to miss this book along the way!

Wesley Rediscovered  Sep 25, 2000
Randy Maddox has done a great service for all those seeking to have a more comprehensive understanding of John Wesley's practical theology. He uses the key interpretive lense of "responsible grace," meaning that while grace comes to us as a gift from God, we are the ones who must respond in order to fully incorporate it into our lives. Maddox is a superb student of Wesley, demonstrating the ways that Wesley has drawn on both Eastern and Western Christian traditions in arriving at his theological sythesis. He helps us to understand Wesley's various historical periods in relation to his evolving theology and gives rich citations and footnotes to aid the reader in learning more. As a United Methodist pastor, I return to this book again and again, deeply grateful for the insights Maddox offers into a wholistic understanding of John Wesley's theology. This book is so well-written that it is also accessible to the educated layperson. I highly recommend it!

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