Vol. 3 Sermons 29–44
The Methodist handbook of spiritual directionWith helpful notes and reflection questions for readers, William J. Abraham offers John Wesley’s 44 sermons in an easy-to-read format. Abraham reminds us that John Wesley was first and foremost a spiritual director—a theologian of the Christian life. Wesley designated these 44 sermons as one of the doctrinal standards for the Methodist people. They represent the core of his teaching and remain the critical standard for much of global Methodism and are meant to help us grow in faith, hope, and love. Thus, the first fifteen sermons(volume 1)develop the theme of becoming a Christian; the second thirteen (volume 2)deal with being a Christian; and the last sixteen(volume 3)deal with staying a Christian.
In three volumes, volume one works through crucial concepts and experiences the beginner needs to understand and undergo; and they clearly delineate holiness (love for God and neighbor) as the goal of the spiritual life. Volume two provides an exposition of the Sermon on the Mount and thus provides a summation on what the genuine Christian life is in reality. Volume three deals with a network of issues that Christians characteristically face as they continue on their journey. The topics covered include such matters as the place of law in the Christian life, how to avoid bigotry, how to handle misunderstandings of the goal of the Christian life, what to do with spiritual depression, how to tackle self-indulgence as represented by the quest for pleasure, and love of gossip and money.
William J. Abraham, D.Phil. (Oxon.), is the Director of the Wesley House of Studies at Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor University, Waco, Texas, USA.
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