Free Grace Revisited



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An adendum to my previous response

It was my favorite young Calvinist who convinced me that going on to Christian perfection is indeed possible.

betsy more than 3 years ago

This makes perfect sense

From the perspective of the church universal of which Methodism is only one small part and The United Methodist Church is a small part of Methodism. But it makes no sense when it comes to The United Methodist Church as a free standing denomination that has some beliefs in common with the universal church while being in possession of other beliefs that are unique only to it. Wesley's understanding of the catholic spirit--and his assertion that we must believe and let believe--allowed differences between faith traditions but it did not endorse theological plurality within a single faith tradition.

My biggest concern with what you propose is that you are saying that it is OK for The United Methodist Church to house contradictory beliefs that basically cancel each other out and leaves the church saying nothing in particular about what it believes about God. I basically grew up in that atmosphere and it left me in a non-descript relationship with God. As John Wesley stated, I existed in the most miserable of places: caught between God and the world, unable to find comfort in either.

When I finally wandered off from church in search of a God worth worshiping I began with Wesley then engaged some teachers that crisscrossed denominational lines and I finally returned to Wesley partly because I was raised to believe I was a Christian of the Methodist persuasion, partly because I like the fact that his theology is a compilation of this and that from multiple faith traditions, and mostly because he was all about the individual flourishing and thriving because they are in right relationship with their Triune Creator God.

Wesley was all about a "practical religion for a plain people". For this plain person, there has been nothing practical about the religion of a single denomination that is mired down in theological plurality run amuck. Although I am solidly back in the Wesleyan camp through the offerings of, my go to teacher is still a Presbyterian (USA) pastor who did an amazing job of writing about the Calvinist leaning Heidelberg Catechism—he came across as a closet Wesleyan. I also have a favorite young Calvinist because he wrote about the Heidelberg in very modern verbiage that did not diminish the WOW Factor of Christianity.

betsy more than 3 years ago

Calvinism defined:

The belief God is as amoral as Calvinists.

George Nixon Shuler more than 3 years ago