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John Wesley's Teachings, Volume 1: God and Providence Paperback – August 11, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

 Thomas C. Oden (PhD, Yale) is Director of the Center for Early African Christianity at Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania and Henry Anson Buttz Professor of Theology and Ethics at Drew University. He is an ordained Methodist minister and the author of many books, including The Rebirth of Orthodoxy: Signs of New Life in Christianity, How Africa Shaped the Christian Mind: Rediscovering the African Seedbed of Western Christianity, Doctrinal Standards in the Wesleyan Tradition, and Classic Christianity. Dr. Oden is also the general editor for the widely-used Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture series.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; Rev Exp edition (August 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310328152
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310328155
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #841,158 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Thomas C. Oden (Ph.D., Yale University) recently retired as Henry Anson Buttz Professor of Theology at The Theological School of Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. He is general editor of the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture and author of numerous theological works, including a three-volume systematic theology.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Vic Reasoner on March 11, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just when the guild scholars claim that everything that can be said about Wesley has already been said, Oden makes the claim that "nothing like this text-by-text review of the content of Wesley's teaching exists in Wesley studies."
In these two volumes Oden has quadrupled the material in his 1994 work, John Wesley's Scriptural Christianity. Oden's purpose is to demonstrate that Wesley was a systematic theologian. Thus, he arranges Wesley's writings in systematic order and demonstrates an internal consistency across sixty years.
The first attempt at such an arrangement was Wesleyana, first published in 1825 and reprinted by Allegheny Publications in 1979. Wesleyana is simply a cut-and-paste arrangement of Wesley's sermons.
The second attempt at such an arrangement was Burtner and Chiles, A Compend of Wesley's Theology (1954). In this volume the editors draw from all of Wesley's major writings.
Yet Oden's work is the first real attempt to restate or paraphrase Wesley's writings. It is not a cut-and-paste job nor it is an attempt to reinterpret Wesley through the author's own paradigm. Oden works from the primary sources, not the secondary literature.
Oden observes that there is no precedent in Wesley for process theology. Wesley believed in divine revelation, supported by apostolic tradition, reason, and experience. Yet this is balanced by a section on what reason cannot do. And Scripture functions as a correction to experience. Oden sees the Wesleyan tradition as a modern example of his own theological methodology, in which he works from a patristic consensus.
Oden also summarizes Wesley's view on the inspiration of Scripture. "In classic Christian reasoning, supposed `mistakes' in the Bible are misreadings or errors of the reader.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Brendan Knox on December 25, 2012
Format: Paperback
Thomas Oden has long been known for his work in Systematic Theology, particularly in his interests in patristics and desire to ground evangelical theology in the theology of the early church showing their compatibility. Oden himself hails from a Methodist background and so the teachings of John Wesley form an important component of his thought. Wesley is no doubt an important figure in evangelicalism who is responsible for both good and bad things seen in evangelicalism today. While I write this review from a Reformed background, and thus disagree with many of Wesley's perspectives, nevertheless, these volumes by Oden are very helpful for understanding the teachings of Wesley.

Oden does a good job of taking the reader through the various elements of Wesley's theology culled from his sermons and other writings to give a systematic introduction. The reader will be impressed by the depth of thought contained in Wesley's writings and the catholic nature of much of his thought. He was a man of his time and his influences are obvious in some ways but Wesley still taught much that was clearly basic to Christian orthodoxy.

The first volume that Oden has provided covers such theological topics as revelation, Scripture, the doctrine of God, providence, creation, and man in sin. The second volume deals more in-depth with the work of Christ and his salvation applied to the believer. Oden's work is quite scholarly interacting with other Wesleyan scholars. Oden desires to read Wesley as a man of his own time and avoids anachronistic readings of Wesley that promote various new theologies such as liberation theology or feminism.

Wesley is seen to be what you might expect.
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By Suzanne F. Isaacs on August 19, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Clarifies John Wesley's teaching and connects with modern day language. A resource for the advanced and beginner theologian.
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