By William J. Abraham
In his day, John Wesley provided very important insights on tips to receive wisdom of God that bears fruit in our personal occasions. As most advantageous Wesleyan pupil William Abraham exhibits, Wesley's most famed non secular adventure is rife with philosophical importance and implications. all through, Abraham brings Wesley's paintings into fruitful dialog with the most very important paintings in modern epistemology. Lyrically and succinctly he explores the simultaneous epistemological quest and non secular pilgrimage that have been principal to Wesley and the Evangelical Revival of the eighteenth century. In so doing, he presents a realized and eye-opening meditation upon the connection among cause and religion.
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Extra resources for Aldersgate and Athens: John Wesley and the Foundations of Christian Belief
Sometimes these take the form of what we can only call spectacular phenomena. Wesley himself knew this in that he was aware that Christian conversion (a term we may use here as a summary for what was at stake) could indeed be spectacular. Equally, it is often the case that the saints exhibit sanctity that can only be described as spectacular. On the other side, much of what counts as charismatic phenomena is far from spectacular. In my own experience as a witness of divine healing, exorcism, and speaking in tongues, for example, the evidence was quiet and unsensational.
Basil Mitchell has expressed the point at issue with exemplary felicity with respect to the relation between sanctity and grace. Noting that we need a more broadly theological approach that teaches us that we cannot presume to limit the divine activity to those instances in which it may be discernible to us, he continues: Such instances (remarkable and striking manifestations of sanctity) may be clearly revelatory . . yet they are revelatory of the God, whose activity we believe on general grounds, to underlie even the most tentative and inarticulate movements of the human soul towards conformity with the pattern of Christ.
29 If this philosophical work undermines the first-order life of the church, then we should set it aside and seek the face of the Lord afresh. We should go into mourning, take upon us sackcloth and ashes, hide away in monasteries and places of retreat, and fast and pray until the Lord has mercy upon us 40 Aldersgate and Athens and pours out a new Pentecost on his people. So let us be clear about the proper ordering of the life of faith. With that settled and said, I can now press home my final comments.
Aldersgate and Athens: John Wesley and the Foundations of Christian Belief by William J. Abraham