A METHODIST AND AN EVANGELICAL

Dr. Timothy C. Tennent is President of Asbury Theological Seminary and Professor of World Christianity. He is scheduled to speak at the FLUME Luncheon on Thursday, June 12, during the 2014 Annual Conference. One series of posts on Dr. Tennent’s blog from 2011 is entitled, “Why I am a Methodist and an Evangelical.”  In his posts,   Dr. Tennent mentions nine reasons he is a Methodist and an Evangelical. These reasons include (Tennent’s introductory comments in italics):

  • Prevenient Grace       For Wesley, “the spiritual life has no hope of beginning without God’s prior action on behalf of the sinner”.
  •  Means of Grace:       Wesley  “. . . developed a more robust understanding of how God’s grace works throughout the life of a believer”.
  •  Conversion through Faith in Jesus Christ:      Methodists affirm the importance of conversion.”
  •  Sanctification, A Reorientation of the Heart:     ” I am a Methodist because of Wesley’s strong emphasis on the importance of holiness in the life of the believer and the necessity of Christian sanctification.”
  •  Discipleship, Catechesis in Community:     Strong emphasis on discipleship in our tradition.”
  •  Missional Movement-Social Consciousness:    “Methodism has managed to retain its DNA as a missional movement.”
  •  Doctrinal Clarity-Catholic Spirit:     “The wonderful way Wesley combined doctrinal clarity with a generous, warm-hearted spirit towards other Christians.”
  •  Global Vision:              Wesley’s early appreciation for the possibility of what we know today as “global Christianity.”
  •  Centrality of Worship:             The “great emphasis on worship”. 

 In his conclusion, Dr. Tennent states that despite his deep love for Methodism, he still remains far more identified with the common evangelical witness of all true churches than any particular outpost: “Our particularity only has meaning if it is built on the great common doctrinal, experiential and historical truths, which unite all true churches together.”

You can read more about Dr. Tennent and his books at his blog under Publications.

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