In this Minisode we will be asking the basic (but not so basic) question: "What Is An Arminian?" And see how John Wesley answered this question in his short writing titled (very appropriately) "What Is An Arminian?" In this writing Wesley brings up a lot of good points. He is clear that Arminians and Calvinists should come to an understanding of each other's theology so they could have a productive dialogue.
He also points out that no one should speak out against Arminianism unless they have actually read at least a page of his writings. This point is true of people who claim to be Arminian as well.
Wesley promoted more of a spirit of unity through understanding. Here at Remonstrance we believe that this is the way forward. We may disagree, but at least we can disagree based on an understanding of where each other are coming from.
To read through the full text of "What Is An Arminian?" you can find it by following this link: http://www.umcmission.org/Find-Resources/John-Wesley-Sermons/The-Wesleys-and-Their-Times/What-Is-an-Arminian
This episode is a call to study Wesleyan Theology in a systematic way. As Fred Sanders points out, the Wesleyan-Arminian Tradition is not known for its systematic theologians...but they are out there. In fact, NOW is the best time in history to begin studying Wesleyan theology in a "systematic" way because of the resources that are available!
In this episode we will briefly look at why there was a lack of systematic theologians at the beginning of the Wesleyan Movement. We will then look at the early Wesleyan-Arminian Systematic Theologians: Watson, Summers, and Pope. Then we will talk about Thomas C. Oden's "Classic Christianity." After that we will focus on why NOW is the best time to study Wesleyan Theology in a Systematic way because of the work that Kenneth J. Collins and Thomas C. Oden have done to systematize Wesley's theology for the first time in history!
You should really look into buying "The Theology of John Wesley: Holy Love and the Shape of Grace" by Kenneth J. Collins and the four volume set "John Wesley's Teachings" by Thomas C. Oden.
You can find hyperlinks to their books by following this link:
This episode is entirely devoted to the Doctrine of Justification with specific emphasis on what Wesley and Arminius had to say about Imputation. We realize there is a lot of debate and confusion today about the Doctrine of Justification. It is important for Wesleyans and Arminians to see what their theological founders had to say. To do this we will be reading and discussing a variety of secondary and primary sources on Justification and Imputation. It is clear that both Wesley and Arminius stood with the Protestant Reformers on this issue.
We will also spend time focusing on three aspects of Justification that both Wesley and Arminius had in common: (1) they both expressed agreement with John Calvin (2) they both did not want to make a distinction between the "Active" and "Passive" righteousness of Christ in their Doctrine of Imputation and (3) they both taught that "Faith is Imputed for Righteousness" and for this they were criticized by their Reformed contemporaries.
Please visit the theologians page of our website to find links to all the books we references in this episode. We encourage you to buy them and read them all for yourself.