In Pia desideria, Philipp Jakob Spener (13 January 1635 – 5 February 1705) was a German Christian theologian known as the “Father of Pietism.” Spener made six proposals as the best means of restoring the life of the Church:
- The earnest and thorough study of the Bible in private meetings, ecclesiolae in ecclesia (“little churches within the church”)
- The Christian priesthood being universal, the laity should share in the spiritual government of the Church
- A knowledge of Christianity must be attended by the practice of it as its indispensable sign and supplement
- Instead of merely didactic, and often bitter, attacks on the heterodox and unbelievers, a sympathetic and kindly treatment of them
- A reorganization of the theological training of the universities, giving more prominence to the devotional life
- A different style of preaching, namely, in the place of pleasing rhetoric, the implanting of Christianity in the inner or new man, the soul of which is faith, and its effects the fruits of life
Pietism was a major influence on John Wesley and others who began the Methodist movement in 18th century Great Britain. John Wesley was influenced significantly by Moravians (e.g., Zinzendorf, PeterBoehler) and Pietists connected to Francke and Halle Pietism. The fruit of these Pietist influences can be seen in the modern American Methodists and members of the Holiness movement.