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Anabaptist Leanings of a Kinda Methodist


Article, first published by the Anabaptist Network (UK, March 2006).

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From the introduction: “Wesley was set upon becoming a real and ‘altogether’ Christian: holy in heart and life; perfected in love of God and neighbour. This vision was cultivated and pursued through his encounters with, and appropriation of, many different streams of Christian thought and practice: patristic sources from East and West, Anglican divines, Puritans and Pietists, Moravians, and even heretics! In short, he ‘poached’ anything that could help illumine the nature of holiness and Christian perfection. One might say that he was also a theological mongrel, and if that’s what it takes to become a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ, then I’m with Wesley. Thinking of Wesley this way, it would be consistently ‘Wesleyan’ of me to ‘poach’ upon the Anabaptist tradition insofar as it might illumine and advance the end of evangelical discipleship and biblical Christianity. What follows are some Anabaptist leanings of this kinda Methodist. I don’t pretend to have interpreted the tradition with any kind of historical exactitude or systematic precision. I offer what I think I have learned from some Anabaptists (and others sympathetic to the tradition) in the form of cumulative intuitions, for better or worse, and what I think might be suggestive as directions for dialogue with the Wesleyan tradition.”

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