This volume provides a corrective to traditional views of the theological development of Methodism by describing John Wesley's struggles with enthusiasm and against antinomianism among his followers. "Enthusiasm" was a term of derision in the 18th century, equivalent to the modern epithet 'religious fanaticism.' Modern interpreters of Wesley have generally denied the validity of this label, frequently attached to Wesley by his opponents. Although Wesley denied charges of antinomianism, Methodists were willing, at least at times, to set themselves above both canon and civil law in obedience to the "higher law" of their divine calling. Wesley clarified his theological positions, but these clarifications were often interpreted as doctrinal inconsistencies. Gunter assesses Wesley's theology as he traces its evolution, showing how Wesley defended himself and his movement.
Publisher: Abingdon Press