John Wesley and George Whitefield were in many ways larger-than-life figures during their own lifetimes and continue to be so today. Yet our ability to appreciate their abiding influence on contemporary Evangelical theology and practice is lacking if we consider them in isolation from one another. Our understanding of Wesley and the legacy of his public ministry is impoverished apart from considering Whitefield (and vice versa).
This collection of essays explores the complex dynamics at work in the Wesley-Whitefield relationship, spanning a variety of theological, historical, and pastoral facets of their full-orbed public ministries. They serve as an invitation to grow in our awareness of their undoubted affinities and significant differences, all the while resisting the potential allure of either uncritically ecumenical “Wesley and” or uncharitably partisan “Whitefield versus” narratives.
The Torchlighters Series: The John Wesley Story, DVDVision Video / 2014 / DVD$7.99 Retail:
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When young John Wesley is miraculously saved from his family’s burning home, he later refers to himself as a “brand plucked from the burning.” His mother believes God spared him for a special purpose. As a man, Wesley tries to live out that special purpose on his own strength and good works, but it only brings frustration and failure.
Finally, after years of struggle, Wesley embraces saving grace! But his new message is not welcome in the established churches. Will John break all the rules and take his message outside the church walls to the needy and outcast? Find out in this action-paced episode of The Torchlighters, featuring the founder of the Methodist movement.
Torchlighters is a series of animated programs for youth ages 8-12, presenting the lives of true-life heroes from Christian history. When kids see what God can do through a "Torchlighter" who is devoted to carrying out His will and purposes, they too may want to carry a torch of faith by serving Him. Approx. 30 minutes.
- English and Spanish languages with optional English subtitles
- Documentary on the life of John Wesley
- Comprehensive leader's guide and student worksheets in PDF
Journey with J.W.: John Wesley's Ride Through Methodist HistoryDaphna Lee FlegalAbingdon Press / 2015 / Trade Paperback$11.69 Retail:
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This workbook provides a fun, six-week mini-study on Methodist history, with units on Susanna Wesley, John Wesley, Charles Wesley, Thomas Coke and Francis Asbury, Richard Allen, and a Camp Meeting. Children will take a tour of Methodist heritage, learn how God inspired John Wesley and other early leaders to spread the gospel, and discover how God continues to call us to evangelism today through songs, activities, crafts, skits, stories, and other fun activities. 88 pages, softcover. Elementary Grades.
The Christian Heroes: Then & Now series chronicles the true stories of ordinary men and women whose trust in God accomplished extraordinary deeds for his kingdom and glory.
Pursuing his calling with singleness of vision, John Wesley defied the strength of angry mobs and longstanding traditions to offer the hope of Christ to millions of people who were outside the influence of the churches of the day. Passionate and tireless, this Anglican clergyman rode a quarter of a million miles on horseback during his lifetime, stopping to preach more than forty thousand sermons in open fields, churches, and barns.
For ages 10 and up.
The story of Susanna Wesley, mother of Charles and John Wesley, founders of the Methodist Church. A bright, beautiful woman whose life was turbulent but whose faith never wavered.
John Wesley: The Faith That Sparked the Methodist Movement, DVDVision Video / 2014 / DVD$9.99 Retail:
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Few people have influenced the course of the church like John Wesley. Like his reforming predecessor, Martin Luther, Wesley’s early life was marked by a moralism driven by fear of God’s judgment. And it was Luther’s writing that helped Wesley to understand the scriptural message of grace through faith. Set free from his bondage to self-righteousness Wesley set out to awaken a church that had once again traded the truth for lies and mission for self-preservation. This documentary uses excerpts from the award-winning 2010 dramatic film, Wesley along with expert commentary and footage shot in Wesley’s England. It will take you inside the world of John Wesley and trace how this influential Christian leader changed the course of the church and the world. Includes optional English and Spanish subtitles. Approx. 55 minutes.
Can a portrait offer a glimpse into a person's soul? The general editor of the works of John Wesley examines the likenesses made of the great 18th-century evangelical: Oxford don, Methodist preacher, and notable person. What did each painter hope to convey and how did Wesley and the public respond?
The life and work of John Wesley have had an enormous influence on modern Christianity, including his role as founding father of the Methodists, now 33 million strong worldwide. In this lively biography, journalist Tomkins narrates the story of Wesley's colorful and dramatic life for a new generation.
Though not intended as a detailed biography or critical examination of Wesley's theology, Waller crafts a highly readable portrait of the major themes and events in Wesley's life and work. Waller moves from Wesley's early family life, to his conversion, theological teaching, preaching tours, romantic encounters, and social concern with literary ease and sparkling narrative. An informative and engaging introduction to the life and thought of Methodism's great founder. 147 pages, softcover.
That John Wesley was not a systematic theologian is a point frequently made. Yet if that be the case, what kind of theologian was he? To look at his literary output over the course of his long life and ministry is to recognize the central role that sermons played. Thus, claims Michael Paquarello, Wesley was a homiletical theologian, one for whom the Word preached was the core means of reflecting on and understanding the meaning of the Gospel.
In this John Wesley: A Preaching Life Pasquarello places Wesley's sermons in the larger religious, political, and intellectual world of their eighteenth-century context. Neither a biography nor an intellectual history, it is a homiletic history, one that both uses the details of Wesley's milieu to build a framework for understanding his sermons, and that illumines the practical wisdom embodied in the content, form, and style of Wesley's preaching. John Wesley: A Preaching Life vividly portrays the centrality of Wesley's preaching to the religious revival that transformed eighteenth-century England.
The Amazing John Wesley: An Unusual Look at an Uncommon LifeH. Newton MalonyBiblica / 2010 / Trade Paperback$14.40 Retail:
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Wesley came to the conclusion that real Christians are those whose inward and outward lives have been transformed by the bountiful sanctifying grave of God-what he termed real Christianity, and this he strove for himself. Real Christianity, as Wesley understood it, embraces both works of piety and mercy, the personal and social. That is, it embraces, for example, working among the poor and forgotten, genuinely encountering the "other" as one of the more important means of growing in the love of God and neigbor. Accordingly, the book serves both as a fine, brief biography, but also as one which makes remarkable sense of Wesley's own spiritual journey.
The Sermons of John Wesley: A Collection for the Christian JourneyEdited by Kenneth J. Collins & Jason E. VickersAbingdon Press / 2013 / Trade Paperback$31.49 Retail:
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A collection of sermons personally approved by Wesley: the British 44, the North American 52, and eight more. Fleshes out his practical theology in compelling studies of the Sermon on the Mount (the key to understanding Wesley's ethics), "Free Grace," "On Working Out Our Own Salvation," "The Danger of Riches," and plenty more. 608 pages, softcover.
John Wesley's Teachings--Complete Set: Volumes 1-4Edited by Thomas C. OdenZondervan / 2014 / Trade Paperback$62.99 Retail:
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Timeless Teachings of John Wesley for the Modern-Day Christian
John Wesley's Teachings is the first systematic exposition of John Wesley's theology that encompasses all of his writings. Wesley was a prolific writer and commentator on Scripture - his collected works fill twenty-four volumes - and yet it is commonly held that he was not systematic or consistent in his theology and teachings. On the contrary, Thomas C. Oden demonstrates that Wesley displayed a remarkable degree of internal consistency over sixty years of preaching and ministry.
This series of four volumes is a text-by-text guide to John Wesley's teaching. It introduces Wesley's thought on the basic tenets of Christian teaching: God and providence (volume 1), Christ and salvation (volume 2), the practice of pastoral care (volume 3), and issues of ethics and society (volume 4). In everyday modern English, Oden clarifies Wesley's explicit intent and communicates his meaning clearly to a contemporary audience. Both lay and professional readers will find this series useful for devotional reading, moral reflection, sermon preparation, and for referencing Wesley's opinions on ecological recovery, moral relativism, enthusiasm, catholicity, experience, paradise, final justification, providence, and countless others.
Charles Wesley has often been overshadowed by his brother, John Wesley. Yet Charles' hymns were a strong influence upon the Methodist Revival and have been sung by countless churches. Their views on the relationship between the Methodist societies and the Church of England differed, with Charles much more in favor of keeping within the Church of England - and he also did not approve of the elevation his brother received. Due to these differences, Charles retired into semi-obscurity - and left the door open for Methodism to become primarily associated with John Wesley. Learn about Charles' life and legacy and his integral role within church history with this unique biography. 168 pages, softcover.