By William J. Abraham
In his day, John Wesley provided vital insights on the right way to receive wisdom of God that bears fruit in our personal occasions. As most desirable Wesleyan student William Abraham indicates, Wesley's most renowned non secular event is rife with philosophical importance and implications. all through, Abraham brings Wesley's paintings into fruitful dialog with probably the most very important paintings in modern epistemology. Lyrically and succinctly he explores the simultaneous epistemological quest and non secular pilgrimage that have been imperative to Wesley and the Evangelical Revival of the eighteenth century. In so doing, he offers a discovered and eye-opening meditation upon the connection among cause and religion.
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Extra info for Aldersgate and Athens: John Wesley and the Foundations of Christian Belief
My hope is to stimulate a conversation between Wesley and the contemporary discussion. It would be premature to claim that there is or can be a characteristic Wesleyan epistemology of theology; I think, however, that Wesley brings to our attention a raft of very significant proposals that deserve to be heard in the contemporary debate. In the last chapter I noted that in and around the Alders gate experience there are three different kinds of evidence visible below the surface. There is the evidence from the fulfillment of divine promises, the evidence from personal experience of God, and the evidence from the power of God.
There are really two questions here, so let me work with both. As to what Wesley would want, well, of course, he is dead and gone. 28 We cannot say for sure whether he would approve of what we are doing. However, we can say this: Wesley himself, as we have seen here, is deeply interested in making sense of how we know God, so I would claim his patronage in general terms. Faith and Personal Experience of God 39 Furthermore, we now know that Wesley in his day was deeply dependent on the work of Christian philosophers in that they created intellectual space for his own work in evangelism and in unpacking a unique vision of the Christian life.
The evidence from conspicuous sanctity arises in this way. Suppose we meet someone who exhibits the kind of loving, self-sacrificing sanctity that catches our attention and takes our breath away. Due to this encounter our skepticism about God may be checked, and we may well be drawn to believe in God. Here is how Wesley made this point: The beauty of holiness, of that inward man of the heart which is renewed after the image of God, cannot but strike every eye which God hath opened, every enlightened understanding.
Aldersgate and Athens: John Wesley and the Foundations of Christian Belief by William J. Abraham