Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Asbury Journal 75, 1 (2020)

The latest issue of Asbury Journal is now available, containing the below articles. The entire issue is available as a pdf here.

From the Editor

Winfield Bevins

Victorian Church Planting: A Contemporary Inquiry into a Nineteenth Century Movement

When people think of Victorian England, church planting isn’t the first thing that comes to mind However, there was a significant movement that swept across the country in the mid to late 19th century that resulted in the planting of thousands of new churches that was well documented. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate that there was a church planting movement in England that helped transform the nation in the 19th century. It will examine the causes, characteristics, and trajectory of this movement, while offering a contemporary application of lessons for church planting today.

Philip F. Hardt

Methodist Political Involvement in the School Bible Issue: the Council, The Christian Advocate and Journal, the Mayor, and the Superintendent of Schools

During the early 1840s in New York City, prominent members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, both lay and clergy, used four political avenues to oppose Roman Catholic efforts to both secure public funds for their own parish schools and also eliminate the daily reading of the King James Bible. These avenues included participation before the Common Council, “political” editorials in the Christian Advocate and Journal, the election of a strongly pro-Bible Methodist mayor, and appointment of a similarly-minded Methodist superintendent of schools. The questions of what caused the Methodists to take such a strong stand and why some compromise could not be achieved are also addressed.

Samuel J. Rogal

John and Molly: A Methodist Mismarriage

While not much is known about Mary (Molly) Goldhawk Vazeille, the wife of John Wesley, her story has been interpreted in many ways, and often incorrectly over time. This article explores the historical evidence of her life as a wealthy widow with children who married the founder of Methodism later in life. This contentious relationship is often little understood because of the lack of solid documentation and the multiple interpretations often overlaying the story, which were added by writers with other agendas. It does seem clear that John’s brother Charles was especially unhappy with this marriage in the beginning, and the subsequent events in the relationship led to divisions between the couple that have been open to numerous interpretations.

Kim Okesson

Dorothy Sayers, Communication and Theology: A Lifetime of Influence in British Society

This paper examines the writings of Dorothy Sayers through the lens of transportation theory and feminist communication theory. Dorothy Sayers’s early childhood and educational years are considered in light of their impact on her work as an adult. Her role as a writer and a lay theologian is discussed. The role of women in the first part of the twentieth century is considered. Attention is given to Sayers’s writings across multiple literature genres and the strength this brings to her communication of theological truth.

Robert A. Danielson

“When We are Going to Preach the Word, Jesus will Meet Us:” Ernest and Phebe Ward and Pandita Ramabai

In the 19th century, holiness missions spread to various parts of the world, including India. Ernest and Phebe Ward were part of that movement. They went as faith missionaries, but were also recognized as the first missionaries of the Free Methodist Church. In the course of their mission work in Central India, their traditional radical form of holiness mission was transformed into orphanage work by a severe famine. Through their holiness connections and orphanage work, they became associated with the Pentecost Bands and with Albert Norton, a close partner with Pandita Ramabai. This paper raises the potential importance of these connections in terms of the influence of holiness connections on Ramabai and the Mukti Revival of 1905, which led to the growth of Pentecostalism in India.

Dwight S.M. Mutonono

The Leadership Implications of Kneeling in Zimbabwean Culture

This paper considers the implications of public officials and church members kneeling to their leaders as a cultural expression of honor. Zimbabweans, like many Africans, kneel or crouch when interacting with people in authority. In traditional culture children are socialized to kneel to elders, and this becomes a deeply ingrained part of their way of life. While the practice of kneeling, even in private, is not as prevalent as it used to be, recently high-level Zimbabwean public officials have been recorded kneeling before authority figures. They justify their behavior based on culture. Church members do the same to their leaders and similarly justify their conduct as cultural behavior. This paper analyses and critiques this conduct, considering cultural changes to assess the leadership implications of continuing this practice in modern day Zimbabwe. While the continued private practice of the culture is the prerogative of individual Zimbabweans and cannot be legislated against, the public expression of kneeling is now counter-productive. It is not achieving the original intentions of honoring the behavior’s recipient. Because of abuse and possible interpretive misunderstandings, it should be stopped. Recommended ways of transforming the culture are given.

Yohan Hong

Powerlessness and A Social Imaginary in the Philippines: A Case Study on Bahala na

This paper calls attention to the sense of powerlessness of everyday people in the Philippines, and to the missional agency of US-based Filipino Protestants for the transformation of the Philippines. This research has been a journey to discover what kind of power is in play, how the fallen powers can be named and made visible, and then ultimately the ways through which power should be restored. In this process, I referred to the voices, perceptions, stories, and insights of US-based Filipino Protestants in Texas, in order to explore the causes of powerlessness. This paper focuses on how Bahala na as a Filipino cultural value, functions at some mythic level in relation to a social imaginary in such a way to cause and perpetuate a sense of powerlessness. Furthermore, the missional agency of Filipino American Protestants has been seldom investigated in the academia of Diaspora Missiology and Intercultural Studies. This paper concludes that Filipino American Protestants have re-interpreted Bahala na in transforming ways through the power of their spiritual discipline and Protestant faith so that this paper shines light on the potentiality for them to be change agents who can help bring about the transformation in the Philippines.


From the Archives: John Haywood Paul and Iva Durham Vennard- Holiness in Education

Book Reviews

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