Wesley’s Way: Living Faith

For Wesley, theology is a combination of belief and practice.  He called it “practical divinity.”  In taking this view he was standing with pre-Enlightenment Christianity’s commitment to sapiential theology, theology which responded to two questions: “What do you believe?” and “What do you practice?”

As we begin our exploration of Wesleyan spirituality, we must grasp this view of theology.  Otherwise, we can equate information with formation.  Both are important, but they are not the same.  Wesleyan spirituality seeks Bible living, not just Bible study.

Wesleyan spirituality is about “living faith”— what Wesley often referred to as “faith working by love.”  Today, this is being referred to as “lived theology.”

But we must not caricature this commitment as “theology lite.”  Wesleyan spirituality is rooted in substance—the faith once delivered to the saints and reflected upon ever since.  Wesleyan spirituality is rigorous, but it is rigor aimed to produce “the life that was in Christ.”

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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