Monday, November 19, 2012

Gift of the Holy Sprit, a mixed blessing?

We baptized an infant this Sunday, and I used the occasion to reflect on the significance of the congregational vows that are a part of the UM baptismal liturgy.

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Desire of Ease

Some reflections on another one of the temptations that Wesley urged the Methodists to resist.

Monday, November 5, 2012

next project

Now that the book is finished I can give more attention to my next Wesley-inspired research project.

In A Plain Account of Christian Perfection, Wesley mentioned that the study of Scripture that he undertook in 1729 convinced him that the goal of religion was self-conformity to the example of Christ.  In A Short History of Methodism, Wesley identified the Greek Testament as the focus of the 1729 Bible study that he undertook with his brother Charles and two other Oxford students.  This study left Wesley with the following impression--
Hence I saw, in a clearer and clearer light, the indispensable necessity of having the mind which was in Christ, and of walking as Christ also walked; even of having, not some part only, but all the mind which was in him; and of walking as he walked, not only in many or most respects, but in all things. And this was the light, wherein at this time I generally considered religion, as an uniform following of Christ, an entire inward and outward conformity to our Master. Nor was I afraid of any thing more, than of bending this rule to the experience of myself, or of other men; of allowing myself in any the least disconformity to our grand Exemplar.
Now I'm studying Greek with the goal of seeing what overall impression I take away from these translations of the Bible (the Septuagint and the Greek NT).  Will the imitation of Christ be the most prominent theme that I notice in my reading of the Greek or will some other theological topic capture my attention?  If this experiment does yield a different result, can I account for this difference? 

That's the main research query.  Others include-- Will my analogy of faith match Wesley's (Repentance then Faith then Holiness) after this study?  Will the conclusions that I draw from my study match any other theologian's work?  Should UM seminaries require courses in biblical languages, and can I offer a rationale for such a requirement based on my experience?