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Thank You, Mr. Wesley

August 27, 2017

One more dose of Wesleyan Heritage to frame our worship and corporate life

[and to easily catch up, simply scroll down to my previous couple of Sunday blogs] —

For a full understanding of the Methodist movement one must understand that the majority of the “preachers” enlisted by John and Charles Wesley were lay persons. Methodism began in the educated cradle of Oxford University and the Holy Club was made up of intellectuals seeking a higher spiritual plain but as the movement went out into the fields and grew the need for those without ordination or a divinity degree became overwhelming apparent.

Preachers were enlisted by Wesley but then understood that educational material, provided by Wesley himself, must be read and that the good preacher was actually educated in many areas including: science, philosophy, history, and divinity.

Wesley placed a great emphasis on education. This, of course, is to be expected. From his childhood on, Wesley was given some of the best education in England. From the detailed accounts of his early education with his mother and father, to his training at Charterhouse and Oxford it is not hard to see why Wesley saw education as important.

Wesley wanted the best-educated preachers he could come up with but when he saw that the preachers must come mainly from the laity he set into motion ways to educate them. The Sermons were a main part of this endeavor. The preachers, generally lacking formal education, received many resources in their training.

His hope was to reach “the bulk of [humanity],” to design “plain truth for plain people,” to be homo unius libri – a person of one book, the Bible, wherein one could find “the way to heaven” (Heitzentater 176).

Love that last paragraph’s emphasis, don’t you? 

Thank you, Mr. Wesley, thank you.

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2 Comments
  1. Mary Leidig permalink

    Love this blog, Joe

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