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Paperback Wesley for Armchair Theologians Book

ISBN: 0664226213

ISBN13: 9780664226213

Wesley for Armchair Theologians

(Part of the Armchair Theologians Series)

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Book Overview

Wesley for Armchair Theologians engagingly presents the life and theology of John Wesley, the founder of Methodism. Written by prominent Wesley scholar William Abraham, who aimed to "make Wesley come alive for those who would truly love to become armchair theologians," the book is an excellent, entertaining, and expert guide to the work of this important Christian figure.

Written by experts but designed for the novice, the Armchair...

Customer Reviews

3 ratings

Honest and accessible

Fed up with searching bookstores for books by--rather than about--John Wesley, I settled on Wesley for Armchair Theologians as some recent vacation reading. To say the book was a pleasant surprise is understatement. Rather than a quick-fix guide to Wesley that lacks depth as much as entertainment value, it was a lively, even fun read that dealt honestly with Wesley's life and theology--and both in their proper context. Abraham begins with a quick summary of Wesley's life, which is important to understanding the development of his theology. Abraham then spends the bulk of the book hitting major issues that concerned Wesley, such as justification, the relationship of works with salvation, free will, and--one of the hallmarks of Wesley's teachings--holiness. Abraham treats each issue with confidence, depth, and honesty, describing not only the strengths but also the weaknesses of Wesley's theological positions, as well as how Wesley shored up those weak points against attack. The text is sprinkled generously with cartoons, which break up the longer sections of text and add a little bit of fun to the proceedings. I'm glad now that I couldn't find an actual copy of Wesley's writings when I looked for it. Abraham's book--which includes a list of recommended reading--nicely summarized the "milk" of Wesley's teaching and prepared me for the "meat," which is what Wesley was always interested in. Recommended.

Excellent Explanation for Those in Transition

As an Anglican seriously considering making the move to the Methodist Church, I grabbed up this book for reference and introduction. It was a wise move. William J. Abraham covered every angle that I was concerned with, and certainly kept me from hammering lots of questions to congregants and pastors alike in the congregation I was visiting and have now joined. The easy to read explanations on John Wesley's foundation of the Methodist Church flowing from his background as an Anglican were made in ways to not seem as if the reader was in a theology course. Yet, they were exacting and covered key elements. The trinitarian theme was essential throughout the book. Although I, personally, still have two other books on Wesley to cover, I'm personally glad I picked this one up first. The illustrations by Ron Hill were fun and added to the light reading. Stephanie S Sawyer, author

entertaining but informative

As a United Methodist minister and a spiritual descendent of John Wesley, I take a great deal of interest when someone I respect writes a book about Wesley's theology. This book is a well written introduction to Wesley by one of our best interpreters of his work. In writing this Abraham often has to decide which Wesley he wants to listen to. The young Wesley sometimes came out in a different place than the more experienced pastoral theologian of the later days. Fortunately, Billy Abraham is up to the task. He spends the first 2 chapters introducing us to Wesley, so that we have the background to place his theology in its personal and cultural place. He then moves to the primary doctrinal areas of Wesley's thought beginning with creation and original sin, moving through justification, regeneration and sanctification with a nice discussion of Christian perfection. Perhaps most importantly he shows that Wesley was able to change theologically as practice taught him he was wrong. All in all a breezy read on a theologian who doesn't lend himself to breezy thought. . For the Wesley neophyte this is a good place to start, due to both style and accurate presentaion of Wesley's thought. Recommend.
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