How I Became a Wesleyan (William Abraham)

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How does one come to be belong to a particular spiritual tradition? In this Seven Minute Seminary, Dr. William “Billy” Abraham answers how he became a Wesleyan Methodist.

Though raised with an “anti-theist” background as a child, William Abraham was deeply impressed by the compassion of the local Methodist church, which cared for his family. Watch as he continues his narration of how he later came to be captivated by the person of Jesus, whom he refers to as the invisible God made visible. A deep appreciation for John Wesley and the Methodist tradition finally came full circle later in his studies.

John Wesley was the 18th century founder of the Methodist movement—a community of Christians who brought renewal to the church by practicing intentional discipleship and striving after the holiness of God. At the peak of his ministry, Wesley regularly traveled over 4,000 miles each year and preached some 40,000 sermons during his lifetime, helping lead people from all walks of life into powerful encounters with God. His doctrine was remarkably balanced and his spirituality rich. Is it appropriate to identify with the spiritual and theological tradition named after its founder? Doesn’t calling oneself “Wesleyan” result in division in the church?

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Dr. William “Billy” Abraham is the Albert Cook Outler Professor of Wesley Studies at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University. He is also an ordained elder in the Southwest Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church. He is a leading authority in all matters theological and philosophical, and is the author of numerous books and journal articles.

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