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Wesley and Men Who Followed Hardcover – July 1, 2003
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"With all this in mind, it is important to view Murray's book as an apologetic work, not solely of John Wesley or his preachers, but of Evangelical Arminianism."
Such a comment makes one wonder if this reviewer actually read the work! Murray, far from offering an apologetic for Wesley, offers us a wonder critique of Wesley's misunderstanding of Calvinism. At the end of the day, if you want to call this book an "apologetic" as opposed to a "history", you have to conclude that it is an apologetic for Calvinism!
Murray writes in his chapter on Wesley's conflict with Calvinism, that Wesley critiqued Calvinism as being against both holy living and evangelism. Murray goes on to show how Calvinism believes in both holy living and evangelism - exposeing Wesley's misunderstanding.
That said, Murray is very charitable toward Wesley at certain points. He makes it clear that Wesley, although mistaken on Perfectionism and on assurance (among other things), he was a champion of grace and the doctrine of justification by faith alone. So, while Wesley's theology has great weaknesses, we can - and should - be able to appreciate his vehement efforts to evangelize the lost. Wesley as preacher was at his best, certainly better than Wesley as theologian.
Read this book, its the best out there on an important historical figure from a Reformed perspective.
Murray's book is divided into four parts. Part one addresses Wesley himself in five chapters which cover the main movements of his life and the primary features of his thought and ministry. Chapter one, "From Oxford Don to Open-Air Preacher," chronicles the story of Wesley's conversion and explores the various influences upon Wesley's religious thought.Read more ›
The first section is a sketch of Wesley's life, which covers a hundred pages. Murray reduced the servant stage to merely the lack of assurance, which he does not see as essential to salvation. Therefore he reinterprets Wesley's experience at Aldersgate in light of the Puritan paradigm. According to Murray, Wesley was converted prior to Aldersgate but received assurance of his salvation at that time. Murray concluded, however, that while Wesley's theology was confused, he was a great evangelist. Yet Murray conceded that the Calvinism of Wesley's day had become fatalistic and prone to antinomianism.
Murray included this exchange between Wesley and a Calvinist. "Do you believe in the perseverance of the saints?" Wesley replied, "Certainly." When his questioner registered his surprise, "I thought you did not," Wesley explained, "O, Sir, you have been misinformed; it is the perseverance of sinners we doubt."
While the first section contains little new information about Wesley, the second section, covering another hundred pages, focuses on three representatives of the next generation of Methodism. None of these men appear in Wesley's Veterans.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Title: Wesley and Men Who Followed
Author: Iain H. Murray
Publisher: The Banner of Truth Trust
Typeset: 12/14 pt Galliard
Pages:... Read more
Very easy to order. Was ordered for personal use. Met the qualifications as advertised and met the expectations I had for yhe object. Thanks for your service.Published on June 7, 2013 by Kenneth F. Dollenger
I don't believe any one book will cover all the aspects of this person and his ministry, but would recommend this book as one that should be read if this is an area of interest.Published on June 7, 2011 by Doug
Although I have sung many hymns of his brother Charles - I never got round to reading a biography of John Wesley. Read morePublished on March 1, 2010 by C. Gracey
From the outset, I would like to state that outside of the Sacred Writings, Sir. John Wesley is who I'd like to be most like, from an Evangelist, to a theologian, even if I don't... Read morePublished on April 3, 2009 by Young Man
John Wesley's legacy stands today through the large selection of hymns, writings, sermons and even the continuation of Methodism, the sect of Christian pietists that originated... Read morePublished on January 14, 2008 by Erik Raymond