I do not know a lot about Wesley, but when I encounter him, I tend to like what he says, even though I am a Calvinist.

On the the other hand when I encounter people arguing for Arminian doctrines in Church history they seem like distrustfull shady sorts of weasles to me. I just assumed Wesley did not really rely so much on Arminias, since I liked him and that it was a little harsh to accuse Wesley of being a total Arminian.

Does anybody have historic quotes from Wesley that show whether he truly admired Arminias?

I ask the question because my answer in this post has been partially questioned and it makes me doubt my perception of Wesley.

  • This is very interesting. Whenever I read a reformed-theology essay/sermon/book that mentions John Wesley, I expect him to be portrayed as evil (for being Arminian). Yet, the article always regards him as one of the greatest preachers ever. Funnily enough, I've yet to read a single well respected theologian say a bad word about John Wesley.
    – user1694
    Aug 14 '12 at 7:06

John Wesley was a five-point Arminian, but he accepted Calvinists as true Christians. He welcomed Calvinist preacher George Whitefield into the Methodist movement and sent him out to preach throughout the American colonies.

In much of Wesley's own preaching he focused on the things that we have in common as Christians, but you can see examples of his Arminianism in these sermons:

  • On Predestination: Wesley argues for free will; God's foreknowledge is simply a way of saying God is outside time and doesn't see past, present and future as we do.

  • On Working Out Our Own Salvation: Wesley describes the synergistic nature of salvation.

  • Justification by Faith: Wesley argues that justification is conditional on our faith.

  • Free Grace: Wesley asserts that grace is available to all, and that predestination is not a biblical doctrine.

  • Christian Perfection: Wesley's own contribution to Arminian theology, Christian Perfection is the doctrine that God wants to transform our lives completely until our sinful nature falls away and we willingly obey God in everything. Few people ever reach this state in this life.

Wesley also wrote a treatise entitled What Is an Arminian? Answered by a Lover of Free Grace, defending Arminius against Calvinist charges and calling for peace between Calvinists and Arminians.

  • Thanks Bruce! You restored my respect for Wesley and I will download and save the link about Wesley's view on Arminiansm. After just reading some of Arminias' works a few minutes ago and his arguments 'against the imputation of guilt on infants', (Volume 1 - ARTICLES XIII AND XIV) I can only assume Wesley did not really understand what Arminias conjectured, but relied on later Arminians for his view (a much better view then Arminias himself). Anyway, you confirmed my good view of Wesley - thanks. now I will not fully lump him together with Arminias and have proof he accepted original sin.
    – Mike
    Aug 14 '12 at 15:21

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .