What would it mean to engage in responsible contemporary theological activity that is also authentically Wesleyan? What would be the potential benefit of doing so? Pursuit of these questions led to the present book. Its central purpose is to provide a reflective overview of John Wesley's characteristic theological activities and convictions. One special focus of this overview is highlighting the practical-theological dynamics of Wesley's work as theologian, and suggesting possible implications for contemporary attempts to recover theology as a practical discipline. A second focal theme running through the study is the question of what type of consistency Wesley maintained in his theological convictions--throughout the course of his ministry and the breadth of situations he addressed. The third distinctive focus of the present reading of Wesley's theology is a systematic consideration of the suggestion that he might provide an instructive integration of theological emphases that have traditionally diverged between Eastern and Western Christianity. Underlying all of these explicit topics is a continual conversation with previous Wesley scholarship and a hope of facilitating the recovery of Wesley as a theological mentor for the contemporary church.
Of special focus in this reflective overview of Wesley's theological convictions is highlighting the practical-theological dynamics of Wesley's work and suggesting possible implications for contemporary attempts to recover theology as a practical discipline. Another distinctive focus of this work is a systematic consideration of the integration of theological emphases traditionally divergent in Eastern and Western Christianity. The author also closely examines the consistency of Wesley's thought throughout his career.
Randy L. Maddox is William Kellon Quick Professor of Church History and Wesley Studies at The Divinity School, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina; and Associate General Editor of the Bicentennial Edition of the Works of John Wesley. He is a recognized authority on both John Wesley's theology and the theological developments in later Methodism. Among his special interests are the science and religion dialogue, the nature of evangelicalism, and the theological distinctives of Eastern Orthodoxy. Maddox is an ordained elder in the Dakotas Conference of The United Methodist Church.