St Antholin lecture 2014
John Wesley is widely regarded as one of the prime movers of the Evangelical Revival of the 18th Century, so much so that opposition to Wesley is even now taken by some with little knowledge of Wesley’s actual teaching to be straightforward opposition to the gospel itself. However, an intriguing question is unearthed in this lecture, which explores the relationships between Wesley and Whitefield, Toplady and Simeon. Dr. Gatiss comes to the conclusion that in addition to being ‘strangely warmed’ by the gospel, Wesley became increasingly heated in his almost pathological opposition to Reformed Anglican doctrine. Gatiss argues that this has subsequently been systematically hushed up and played down by historians and hagiographers alike, and considers some lessons for those engaged in controversies today.
“Once again we are indebted to Lee Gatiss who shows clearly that the Reformed faith of the Church of England is no indifferent matter but that the Reformation heritage is the thinking man’s evangelicalism and does a better job of defending the truth of the biblical gospel of free grace than any semi-Pelagian alternative. Whitefield’s grace in controversy is to be emulated, but also his clarity about what things really matter.” - Wallace Benn, former bishop of Lewes.
'In this lecture, Lee Gatiss mounts a stout defence of Whitefield and Toplady in their conflict with Wesley. This is a most useful contribution to evangelical literature, given the tendency in recent years even in some Calvinistic circles to view Wesley in a rather uncritical light. Certainly, the conflict involved a monumental clash of egos; but it also involved points of serious theological and historical significance which should shape our understanding of Anglicanism, Methodism, and the origins of English and American evangelicalisms.' - Carl R Trueman, Paul Woolley Professor of Church History, Westminster Theological Seminary, Pa.
Dr. Lee Gatiss is Director of Church Society (www.churchsociety.org), Adjunct Lecturer in Church History at Wales Evangelical School of Theology, and Editor of The NIV Proclamation Bible. He has ministered in several Anglican churches and is the author / editor of many books and articles on theology, biblical interpretation, preaching, and church history including The True Profession of the Gospel (2010) and For Us and For Our Salvation (2012) published by the Latimer Trust.
Published 20th December 2014
ISBN: 978 1 906327 28 6
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