John Wesley on Holiness and Grace

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Dr. Kenneth Collins on the center of John Wesley’s theology—holiness and grace.

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Dr. Kenneth J. Collins is professor of Historical Theology and Wesley Studies. Joining Asbury Seminary’s faculty in 1995 as professor of church history, Dr. Collins has lectured and taught throughout the world on the theology of John Wesley.

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  1. I’m not sure I’m quite understanding the different examples between cooperant grace and free grace that Dr. Collins gives. It would seem that the cooperant grace (i.e. synergism) concept in Wesley would come about as we respond to the free grace of God. In other words, the act of God in drawing us to salvation (convincing grace) is only made effectual when we receive it. It would be God’s free grace that initiates it through prevenient and convincing grace, and it would be cooperant grace in the moment we receive it. He seemed to be speaking along these lines until he began to give an example of free grace, and there he actually included justification as primarily free grace. But since it is a “gift” we must receive, how is that not our cooperation also? Could we say that free grace and cooperant grace are at play together in justification and sanctification?

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