Front cover image for Responsible grace : John Wesley's practical theology

Responsible grace : John Wesley's practical theology

Randy L. Maddox (Author)
Presents an overview of the theological activities and faith positions of John Wesley, and argues how contemporaries might recover his theology as a practical discipline. Also defends the position that Wesley's theology might unite principles which are normally divergent between Eastern and Western Christianity
Print Book, English, ©1994
Kingswood Books, Nashville, Tenn., ©1994
416 pages ; 23 cm
9780687003341, 0687003342
Chapter 1: Human knowledge of the God of responsible grace
The fount of knowledge
God's gracious Self-revelation
Excursus: Wesley's epistemology
The gracious character of all revelation
Initial universal revelation
Definitive Christian revelation
Excursus: The possibility of extra-Christian salvation
Excursus: The possibility and purpose of a natural theology
Sources/criteria of Christian doctrine
The "Wesleyan quadrilateral"
Wesley's "method"?
Chapter 2: The God of responsible grace
The problem of God-knowledge
Sources of human knowledge of God
Nature of human "God-language"
Reflexive nature of knowledge of God
The nature of God
God's natural attributes
God's moral attributes
Crucial concern: God's sovereignty
Excursus: Wesley on predestination
The work of God/Father
God/Father as Creator and Sustainer
God/Father as Provider
God/Father as Governor or Judge
God/Father as Physician
Summary: God as Father
Chapter 3: Humanity's need and God's initial restoring grace
General character of Wesley's anthropology
Humanity as God's gracious creation
The image of God in humanity
Wesley's relational anthropology
Wesley's holistic psychology
Wesley's holistic anthropology?
Humanity as male and female
Humanity as fallen: debilitated and depraved, but guilty?
The two dimensions of sin
original sin or inbeing sin?
The source of inbeing sin
The nature of inbeing sin
The extent of inbeing sin
total depravity
Pause for perspective
Humanity as nascently restored
The provenience of restoring grace
The character of restoring grace
Prevenient grace as the beginning of restoration
Excursus: Wesley's "synergism"?
The resulting actual human situation
Chapter 4: Christ
The initiative of responsible grace
General character of Wesley's Christology
an atonement for sin
Atonement as liberation?
Excursus: Wesley on the nature and uses of the law
Atonement as pardon
Atonement as display of God's love
The point of the atonement
The three offices of Christ
Christ as Priest
Christ as Prophet
Christ as King/Physician
"Preaching Christ in all His offices"
The nature of Christ
Stress on Christ's divinity
Discomfort with accenting Christ's humanity
Practical monophysitism?
Wesley's concern?
Chapter 5: Holy Spirit
The presence of responsible grace
The Holy Spirit as God's restored presence
The Holy Spirit as Inspiring Physician
The dimensions of the Spirit's inspiration
The universal restoring presence of the Spirit
The witness of the Spirit
Excursus: Wesley on the assurance of faith
Excursus: Wesley on the nature of faith
Excursus: Wesley on the perceptibility of grace
Summary and evaluation
The fruit of the Spirit
The guidance of the Spirit
The gifts of the Spirit
Excursus: Wesley the charismatic?
Spirit, Son, and Father: Wesley on the Trinity
The Spirit and the Son: the filioque?
Unity or distinction of the Divine Persons
Doctrine of the Trinity as a grammar of responsible grace Chapter 6: Grace and response
the nature of human salvation
The three dimensions of salvation
The therapeutic focus of salvation
The holistic scope of salvation
Excursus: Wesley on physical health and healing
The co-operant character of salvation
Excursus: Wesley on justification by faith alone
The possibility of apostasy
The gradual process of salvation
The place of instantaneous transitions in Christian life
The individual variability of salvation
Chapter 7: The way of Salvation
grace upon grace
Repentance prior to justification/new birth
Excursus: Wesley on sin in believers
Repentance within the Christian life
Pardoned by the merits of Christ
Pardoned in order to participate (adoption)
Justification and sanctification
First justification and the new birth
Final justification and sanctification proper
The dynamic tension
Faith and justification
Faith and repentance
Faith working by love
New birth
"Growth in grace"
Christian perspectives
Central themes
Chapter 8: The means of grace and response
The role of the means of grace in Christian life
The mediation of grace
Ordinary and extraordinary means of grace
Effective means and requisite response
Guarantees of pardon or means of healing?
Nurturing grace and patterning exercises
Means of sanctifying grace
The Lord's Supper
Corporate worship
Formal prayers
Scripture lectionary
Church year
Communal support
Love feasts
Watch-night services
Covenant renewal
The general rules
Spiritual directors
Accountability groups
Private exercises
Study of Scripture
Devotional/catechetical readings
Private prayers
Works of mercy
Love of God and love of others
Formative effect of works of mercy
The place of self-denial
Means of justifying grace
Historical perspectives on Wesley's pastoral challenge
Wesley's pastoral response
Call to renewed responsiveness
Methodist society as catechumenate
Excursus: The Lord's Supper as a converting ordinance
Practical-theological implications for confirmation
The importance of childhood catechesis
The rite of confirmation
Communion of children
Means of prevenient grace?
Chapter 9: The triumph of responsible grace
The historical context of Wesley's eschatology
Responsible grace's triumph in process
Wesley's millennialism?
The kingdom of grace and the kingdom of glory
The reign of grace in and through the church
Wesley's eschatological ethics
Personal ethics
Social ethics
Ecological ethics
Responsible grace's triumphant goal
Death, immortality, resurrection
Intermediate states
The new creation