Wednesday 20 June 2018

Asbury Journal 73, 1 (2018)

The latest issue of Asbury Journal, containing the below main articles, mostly drawn from a colloquium on ‘Wesleyan Theology from Biblical and Missiological Perspectives’.

Laurence W. Wood
John Wesley’s Mission of Spreading Scriptural Holiness: A Case Study in World Mission and Evangelism
A manual of discipline, called The Large Minutes, was given to all Methodist preachers when they joined John Wesley’s annual conference, containing this explanation: “God’s design in raising up the people called ‘Methodists’” was “to spread scriptural holiness over the land.” This paper will trace a narrow slice of the larger developing story of how John Wesley arrived at his distinction between justifying faith and full sanctifying grace. It will also serve as a case study to show that the call to justification by faith and a subsequent experience of sanctification by faith became the theme of his evangelistic preaching. This paper will conclude with some observations about the importance of Wesley’s holiness message for the founding of Asbury Theological Seminary and the E. Stanley Jones School of World Mission and Evangelism.

Susangeline Y. Patrick
Seeing Lakota Christian Mission History Through the Eyes of John Wesley’s Image of God
This paper engages John Wesley’s understanding of the Imago Dei (the image of God) and examines the history of Christian mission among the Native American tribes, particularly Lakota on Rosebud Reservation and Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Wesley’s view of the image of God in creation, partial loss of the image of God, and restoration of the image of God in Jesus Christ provides a framework to describe both the successes and failures in Lakota mission history. Wesley’s understanding of the Imago Dei challenges current mission theology and praxis to see God’s creation and peoples as worthy of honor and love, redeemable and restorable in the new creation.

Timothy J. Christian
The Problem with Wesley’s Postmillennialism: An Exegetical Case for Historic Premillennialism in 21st Century Wesleyan Theology and Missions
This article presents an exegesis of Revelation 20:1-10 followed by a critical assessment of Wesley’s interpretation of Revelation 20:1-10. Overall, Wesley’s postmillennial interpretation of Revelation 20:1-10 is not supported by an exegetical reading of Revelation 20:1-10 (Scripture); it is not rooted in the early church (tradition); and it is based largely upon the optimism of the 18th century which was shattered by the 20th century (experience). Historic premillennialism, however, does exegetical justice to Revelation 20:1-10 (Scripture), takes seriously the early church’s view (tradition), and accords with our reason and experience in the 21st century (reason and experience). As such, Wesleyans should abandon postmillennialism and instead embrace historic premillennialism for the sake of having a biblically based theology and approach to missions and evangelism in the 21st century.

Wilmer Estrada-Carrasquillo
The Relational Character of Wesley’s Theology and its Implications for an Ecclesiology for the Other: A Latino Pentecostal Testimony
This article assesses the impact of John Welsey’s theology on relationship, both between human beings and God and between human beings within community. This theology of relationality is then used as a framework for reading the Christological hymn in Philippians. Finally the implications of our understanding of a theology of relationality are explored in the light of missiological and ecclesiological lenses. All of this is done through the added lens of the author’s experience as a Latino Pentecostal.

Ryan Kristopher Giffin
The Good Work of Justification, Sanctification, and Glorification: John Wesley’s Soteriological Explanation of Philippians 1:6
Numerous scholars have described John Wesley’s use of scripture as soteriological in orientation. This article discusses how this soteriological hermeneutic is present in Wesley’s explanatory note on Phil 1:6, a well-known Pauline text. The article highlights how Wesley’s brief note on this beloved text can provide readers with an entry point into a discussion of three theological themes Wesley held dear, the themes of justification, sanctification, and glorification. In this way, Wesley’s explanation of Phil 1:6 presents Wesleyans with a convenient way of reflecting on both Wesleyan hermeneutics and Wesleyan theology.

Howard A. Snyder
John Wesley, Irenaeus, and Christian Mission: Rethinking Western Christian Theology
John Wesley (1703-1791) was a theologian and practitioner of mission. The theological sophistication of his missiology has never been fully appreciated for three reasons: 1) Wesley seldom used the language of “mission,” 2) he intentionally masked the depth of his learning in the interest of “plain, sound English,” and 3) interpreters assumed that as an evangelist, Wesley could not be taken seriously as theologian. Quite to the contrary, this article shows the depth and sophistication of Wesley’s doctrinal and missiological thinking. Reviewing Western Christian theology from the first century to our day, this article examines the close use of Irenaeus by Wesley, which carries high potency for Christian fidelity, discipleship, theological integrity, authentic mission, and Spirit-powered transformation in persons and culture.

Marcus W. Dean
A Wesleyan Missiological Perspective On Holiness Across Cultures
Missiology has focused on various aspects of contextualization and the importance of salvation, but has not dealt extensively with the biblical concept of holiness. From a Wesleyan perspective this paper looks at holiness from the lens of contextualization. A biblical support of contextualization is presented. Then the cultural factors of values – the dynamics of shame, guilt, and fear are explored – and purity are examined as starting points to contextualize the holiness message. While holiness is ultimately about ethical life and relationships, the message must be built upon culturally understandable concepts.

Mark R. Elliott
Methodism in an Orthodox Context: History, Theology, and (Sadly) Politics
The history of Methodism and Eastern Orthodoxy goes back to the early days of Wesley and his interest in the teachings of the Greek Church Fathers. The relationship between Methodists and the Orthodox Church has gone through positive and negative periods, but the growth of the Soviet Union and the challenge of Communism placed new challenges on both groups. The emergence of the Russian Orthodox Church and its reaction to growing Protestant missions has led to new problems, although the ongoing hope is that commonalities in our theology will overcome some of the challenges of current political realities. This paper was originally presented at the United Methodist Church Eurasia-Central Asia “In Mission Together” Consultation, held in Fulton, Maryland on May 6, 2017.


From the Archives: Frances Havergal’s Letter to Hannah Whitall Smith about her Sanctification Experience

Book Reviews

The entire issue is available as a pdf here.

No comments: