Threshing Floor Podcast 039: Aldersgate and the Role of Salvation

In our first summer episode our guys talk about their favorite beginnings of summer, snow cones vs. snow balls and early 90’s Christian television. When things get a little serious, the boys talk about Aldersgate and the role of salvation in Wesleyan theology. To finish up the episode, we have our 3rd (and final) discussion about Mad Max: Fury Road

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4 COMMENTS

  1. A view from the pew from a lifelong Methodist who, at age 59, after distancing myself from all things church, finally was given an understanding of who God is and who I am as an individual at the hands of The Heidelberg Catechism and modern books about it by a Presbyterian pastor and a Reformed Church pastor: I appreciate your discussion about Aldersgate and the role of salvation–it is a conversation that is sorely missing within the United Methodist Church. But truthfully, I quit listening because all you are doing is “stirring the pot” when somewhere, somehow, somebody needs to nail this down for the benefit of the person in the pew, especially how this story applies to them. I knew this story backwards and forwards. What I found stunning when I delved into Wesley’s journals for myself was the context in which Aldersgate happened. It did not just come out of the blue. His conversations with the Moravians led him to expect such an experience. His heart was heavy and he was reluctant because although he now believed that such an experience was crucial, he was frustrated that he had not had it–and if I remember my Wesleyan history correctly, brother Charles had already had such an experience. As his ministry evolved from that life-changing point, John Wesley always taught the people, that if they did not have it, to expect such a thing, to pray for it, to seek after the assurance of the Holy Spirit that yes, you, Joe Blow, are my child. I know how muddled to non-existent such teaching is within the UMC because prior to engaging the Heidelberg, I slogged through a couple of Ken Collins’ books on Wesleyan theology and had a major aha moment of, “It really is about God the Father, AND God the Son AND God the Holy Spirit and they each have a role to play!” I so want people to quit stirring the pot and come up with something that is helpful to Joe Blow in the pew. No wonder the gospel message is stymied; right now it is up to the person in the pew to get frustrated enough with church to go chase it down on their own. The gospel needs to stop being the best kept secret of the United Methodist Church–and having assurance from God that yes, you belong to me, you are mine is a critical part of the gospel!

    • I’ll be honest Orter, Wesleyan theology doesn’t ALWAYS offer the kind of assurance you look for. It makes perfect sense that you found what you are looking for in a more reformed soteriology, but that level of doctrinal ease is not a hallmark of the people called methodist or of those who subscribe to Wesleyan theology. Assurance of salvation is a hallmark of Wesleyanism, but there is no hard and fast way that comes. I would love there to be more hard answers, but as Metropolitan Ware says “It is not the task of Christianity to provide easy answers to every question, but to make us progressively aware of a mystery. God is not so much the object of our knowledge as the cause of our wonder.”

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