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United Methodist Doctrinal Standards, Part IV

Session Four:  The Beginnings of Methodism

1. Early influences on John and Charles Wesley                                      SHOW COPY JW’S JOURNAL

  1. The influence of Samuel and Susannah Wesley

  2. “A brand plucked from the burning”

  3. Oxford, the Holy Club

  4. John’s doubts and the failed venture in America

  5. The influence of the Moravians


  •                   Peter Boehler:  “Preach faith till you have it; then, because you have it, you will preach faith.”


  1. Aldersgate

  2. The churches bar Wesley from preaching

  3. The beginnings of field preaching

  4. The Class Meeting and the Societies


  •                   Attending a Methodist preaching service wasn’t what made you a Methodist, the Class meeting                           did

  •                   The Ticket system

  •                   Classes, Bands, Select Societies


  1. The United Societies were, in effect, a para-church org, a renewal movement


  •                   Methodists were expected to maintain their membership in the established Church

  •                   However, many Methodists didn’t feel welcome there; plus, you didn’t have to start out Anglican                           to be a Methodist – it was ecumenical, in effect

  •                   The result was a strong desire – especially later, in America – for Methodist preachers to be                               able to offer the sacraments to the people in their charge

2. Wesley’s view of Scripture

  1. Homo unius libri

  2. Outler’s Quadrilateral


  •                   Scipture has to be primary

  •                   The role of Tradition in interpreting Scripture in Anglicanism and Methodism

  •                   The role of Experience in interpreting Scripture in Methodism

  •                   The role of Reason in interpreting Scripture:  Religion and the Enlightenment

3. The General Rules:  the Oldest of our Doctrinal Standards            SHOW COPY

  1. More orthopraxy than orthodoxy

  2. First, do no harm

  3. Second, do no evil

  4. Third, be faithful in attendance upon all the ordinances of God


  •                   NOT, “stay in love with God”

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