John Wesley

The Life and Teachings of John Wesley (1703-1791)

John Wesley is recognized as the founder of Methodism.  The term “Wesleyan” is still seen today in the names of churches, colleges, and theological concepts; it reflects the legacy established by this eighteenth-century preacher.

In 1703 John Wesley was born in Epworth, Lincolnshire, England to Samuel and Susanna Wesley.  His father was a rector in the Anglican Church.  The young Wesley was educated at the Charterhouse in London, as well as Christ Church at Oxford, where he received his B.A. in 1724 and his M.A. in 1727.  After graduation he joined his father at the parish in Wroot and was ordained to the ministry the following year.  During his time at Oxford, Wesley was a serious student, with a keen interest in both logic and religion.  However, it was not until 1725 that his “religious” conversion took place.  That was a critical point in the young man’s life, as he was prompted to consider what direction he would go with his life.  Through a number of important influences, including the encouragement of his mother and his reading of Thomas à Kempis, he decided that religion would be his life’s business.

Wesley’s decision to make religion his life business led to his ordination as a deacon in 1725 and then to joining his father in church work at Wroot.  He was his father’s curate (a rector’s assistant) from 1727 to 1729, after which he returned to Oxford.  At Oxford he took over the leadership of the “Holy Club,” a small group of students that had been organized by his brother Charles.  That organization would later come to be called “Methodist,” picking up that name from their methodical approach to Bible study.  They were also known for their strict self-denial, which included acts of charity.  It was during that time at Oxford that both of the Wesley brothers came to be influenced by William Law, an English mystic.  Wesley observed that at this point in his life he did not understand justification by faith, which led to his seeking justification through his own righteous works.  It was also during this time that Wesley developed his views on Christian perfection, which later became recognized as a hallmark of the Methodist movement.

In 1735 Wesley left Oxford and traveled to Georgia as a missionary.  His experience there was disastrous.  Like his father, Wesley was a member of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.  The Society invited Wesley to be a volunteer missionary to Georgia, a colony that had been recently founded by his father’s friend Colonel James Oglethorpe.  He became a parish priest in Savannah, an office in which he served with some success.  However, he also became enthralled with Sophey Hopkey, the niece of Georgia’s chief magistrate, Thomas Causton.  His failed courtship of Sophey caused him to become critical of both Causton and Oglethorpe, and he believed them to be guilty of mismanagement.  Causton brought together a grand jury that indicted Wesley on trumped-up charges, which indictment prompted him to leave Georgia in 1737.  He had, however, helped to strengthen the congregation in Savannah.  Therefore, his experience in Georgia was not entirely a failure despite his somewhat dishonorable departure.

After returning to England, Wesley experienced an evangelical conversion at a society meeting in London on May 24, 1738.  That experience changed his life.  He became convinced that the activities of the Methodist society could be empowered by grace and the Holy Spirit, working through faith in Jesus Christ.  A revival started less than a year after Wesley’s conversion and continued until his death in 1791.  That revival began his fifty-two year itinerant preaching ministry.  During that ministry, Wesley preached over 40,000 sermons while averaging 4,000 miles of travel each year.  However, Wesley can be distinguished from other evangelists in that he did more than just preach.  A unique feature of his ministry was the formation of societies to assist in the strengthening of the people who were awakened and converted during the revival.  Those societies moved across the Atlantic in the 1760s.  The Methodist Societies remained essentially a lay movement.  However, in both America and England the societies were largely influenced by the style and discipline of Wesley himself.

The Methodist movement continued to grow in America, particularly under the leadership of Francis Asbury, who had been appointed by Wesley to serve in America.  The American Methodists wrote to Wesley in 1784 and asked for assistance due to their numerical growth.  Wesley’s response was the ordination of a number of men who would establish an independent Methodist Church in America.  Those men had Wesley’s authority to ordain itinerants.  The itinerants had the authority to preach, but not to serve the sacraments, not even to the many Methodists who did not have access to the sacraments.  The birth of the Methodist Episcopal Church in America can be traced to the Christmas Conference of 1784.

At the Christmas Conference Wesley appointed men to lead the American Methodist movement in America.  It was also at that conference that a number of other church-related documents known as Wesley’s “General Plan” were approved.  Included in those approved documents, which were used as the doctrinal basis of British Methodism, were Wesley’s Standard Sermons and Notes on the New Testament, as well as his abridged versions of the Articles of Religion.  Most modern Wesleyan traditions still retain at least a trace of the “General Plan.”  In the aftermath of the Christmas Conference Wesley’s direct church authority began to decline.  His theological and spiritual legacy could still be seen in Methodism, but the American Methodists began to reject his direct involvement in their affairs.  Wesley was still loved by the American Methodists, but he was losing his ability to have a direct role in the church in America.  Throughout the years, Wesley’s influence has still been apparent in Methodism.  Some of the specific emphases that Wesley passed on include social justice, pietistic holiness, evangelism, and discipline.

In his theology Wesley emphasized justification by faith alone.  Another emphasis of his was the pursuit of holiness, with the goal of that holiness being what he called “Christian perfection” (the belief that it is possible for the Christian to not sin).  He believed strongly in the supernatural, while also appealing to Scripture, reason, and the church fathers to support his intellectual claims.  Later in his life he also increasingly appealed to experience to support his arguments.  Wesley valued liturgical prayer, Eucharistic devotion, and extemporaneous worship.  The personal characteristics that made him an effective leader include his magnetism, his organizational abilities, and his capacity for self-discipline.  Another interesting characteristic of Wesley is his emphasis on charitable giving.  He had a distrust of the rich and was aware of the (often negative) effects that wealth can have on the spiritual life.  In his mind, the only legitimate reason to pursue money was for the sake of being able to give to those in need.

There are many movements and denominations that trace their roots back to Wesley and could therefore be characterized as being in the Wesleyan tradition.  The legacy of Wesley can be seen primarily in the various Methodist denominations, although traces of his legacy can also be seen in other groups, including the Holiness movement, the Pentecostal movement, and the Church of the Nazarene.  The Wesleyan tradition has historically been Arminian, as was Wesley himself.  Free will was an important aspect of Wesley’s theology, and is an aspect that separates Wesleyans from Calvinists.  However, the primary distinction between Wesleyans and Calvinists can be seen in sanctification.  Wesley’s issue with Calvinism stemmed from his belief that justification should lead to sanctification, and that faith should lead to works.  The theology of Wesley and the Wesleyan tradition could be summarized as using justification by faith as the “gateway” to holiness or sanctification.

The Spirit of God Decides

(This article was written by Frank Reed and originally posted here

One of the most defining moments in Church History occurred in 1523 in Zurich, Switzerland. Ulrich Zwingli had been studying and teaching the Bible with his students. The local authorities eventually realized that this Bible study was bringing division to the community. The whole religious world was Roman Catholic. The Bible study in Zurich was a challenge to the Catholic system.

Actually, the Catholic system had been challenged by Martin Luther in Germany since 1517.  Now that challenge had spread to Switzerland. Zwingli, an excellent Bible scholar and priest in the Catholic Church in Zurich, was teaching a group of his students to study the Scriptures. His students would take that study more seriously than Zwingli ever imagined.

The students, Conrad Grebel, Felix Manz, Simon Stumpf and others’ study of the Scripture led them to accept the Word of God at face value. They took the Bible study beyond the academic approach of their teacher. Their lives were changed. They began to challenge the current religious system of belief and practice. It only seemed logical to them that understanding of the Scripture would produce changes in lives. One of the changes they saw was the need for believers’ baptism. Infant baptism was the practice of the Catholic Church. These men believed that the Bible taught adult, believers’ baptism.

The authorities called for meetings where these differences could be discussed. The authorities wanted to control the changes to be made. At one of these meetings, Zwingli, instead of standing with his students, deferred to the authorities. He said, “my lords will decide” how to proceed with decisions about following the Scripture.

His students were dumbfounded. They were taken aback. How could their respected Bible teacher now defer to and allow authorities to decide about truths which they had learned from the Bible? When Zwingli said, “my lords will decide,” Simon Stumpf responded, “Master Ulrich, the Spirit of God has already decided!”

These young men were committed to following the Spirit of God in the face of what ever the authorities would do to them. Indeed Zwingli, their beloved teacher, had deserted them at a time when they desperately needed him. What would they do? Would they follow their teacher? Would they follow the authorities? Who or what was the authority? Their study of the Bible convinced them that God and His Word was the only authority that was safe to follow.

What authority is safe to follow? The only safe authority is the Scripture as studied under the direction of the Holy Spirit. This was the conviction of Zwingli’s students in 1523. This commitment was the beginning of the Anabaptist movement. The Anabaptist movement was the beginning of the Mennonite, Hutterite, and Amish Church groups. This Anabaptist movement greatly influenced the beginning of the Brethren movement in 1708. Alexander Mack had similar convictions about the source of authority. He believed that the source of authority was the Scripture as understood by the leading of the Holy Spirit.

The question today is: what is our source of authority? Can we say that it is the Scripture as understood by the indwelling Holy Spirit? Or, have we replaced that conviction with something else? Has a system of authority replaced the ultimate Authority?

May the words of Zwingli’s students continue to be the conviction with which we approach the decisions of life – “The Spirit of God decides!”

Radical Discipleship – Dirk Willemsz

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.”  (Romans 12:14, ESV)

One of the finest historical examples of a commitment to radical discipleship is the story of Dirk Willemsz.  Dirk was a sixteenth-century Anabaptist who lived in Holland.  According to the account in the Martyr’s Mirror, Dirk was imprisoned for his faith.  He managed to escape, although he was pursued by a guard.  As he fled, he came to a river that was covered with a thin layer of ice.  Dirk made it across safely, but the guard fell through and would have soon drowned.  Astonishingly, Dirk turned back and rescued his pursuer.  The guard wanted to spare him for his act of love, but the burgomaster ordered that Dirk be returned to prison.  In May of 1569 Dirk Willemsz was burned at the stake.
This engraving was created by Jan Luiken and was published in the Martyr’s Mirror.  



Radical Discipleship – Cyprian

A challenging example of radical discipleship is the life of Cyprian.  Cyprian was a wealthy Roman who lived in the third century A.D.  He became a Christian in 246 at the age of 40.  As a new convert, he was so overjoyed to have found Christ and receive the new birth that he liquidated his entire estate, gave the money to the poor, and rejoiced because he was free from material possessions.  Cyprian became an overseer in the church and also wrote some valuable works, including some remarkable passages on Christian rebirth.  Because of persecution, most of his ministry was conducted underground.  He worked tirelessly for the church and proved faithful unto death – he was beheaded by the Romans in 258.

(Source: David Bercot, Will the Real Heretics Please Stand Up, p. 13)

The Birth of Anabaptism

The Anabaptist movement began in 1525 and was an offshoot of the Protestant Reformation.  The Protestant Reformation is recognized as starting in October 1517, when an Augustinian monk nailed a document to the door of a castle church in Wittenberg, Germany.  The document on that church door challenged the mighty fortress that the Roman Catholic Church had become.  Within days that document, which became known as the Ninety-Five Theses, had ignited the fire of reformation across Europe, perhaps to an even greater extent than Martin Luther himself had anticipated.

It was also in 1517 that another German-speaking priest was beginning to apply himself to a serious study of the New Testament.  He was serving as people’s priest at Einsiedeln during that period of extreme wrestling with Biblical truth.  By the time he accepted the call to serve at the Grossmünster in Zurich, Switzerland, Ulrich Zwingli was determined to preach nothing but the Gospel.

Zwingli used preaching, teaching, and disputation to guide the progress of the Reformation in Zurich.  His personality attracted a number of gifted young intellectuals who were interested in studying the Greek classics.  In November 1521 a young scholar named Conrad Grebel joined Zwingli’s group of students.  Grebel’s father was a member of the Zurich city council.  The students were incredibly zealous for learning, which prompted Zwingli to introduce them to the Greek New Testament.

Zwingli’s students quickly became zealous for reform.  However, a group of those students, including Grebel, went beyond Zwingli in their understanding of what Scripture teaches, particularly in regards to baptism.  Zwingli and his former disciples engaged in a public dispute in January 1525.  The city council declared Zwingli the victor and denounced the young radicals.  The small band of radicals had three options.  They could conform to Zwingli’s teaching, leave Zurich, or face imprisonment.  Which would you have chosen?

Several days after the debate between Zwingli and his students, approximately a dozen men traveled through the snow to the home of Felix Manz, located near Zwingli’s Grossmünster.  History was in the making as those men considered their next step.  The events of that momentous night have been preserved in The Large Chronicle of the Hutterian Brethren (A. J. F. Zieglschmid, Die älteste Chronik der Hutterischen Brüder, p. 47).  These words seem to be from an eyewitness, generally thought to be Jörg Cajakob, who came to be known as George Blaurock.

“And it came to pass that they were together until anxiety came upon them, yes, they were so pressed within their hearts. Thereupon they began to bow their knees to the Most High God in heaven and called upon him as the Informer of Hearts, and they prayed that he would give to them his divine will and that he would show his mercy unto them. For flesh and blood and human forwardness did not drive them, since they well knew what they would have to suffer on account of it.

After the prayer, George of the House of Jacob stood up and besought Conrad Grebel for God’s sake to baptize him with the true Christian baptism upon his faith and knowledge. And when he knelt down with such a request and desire, Conrad baptized him, since at that time there was no ordained minister to perform such work.”

After his own baptism, Blaurock proceeded to baptize the rest of those present.  The newly baptized believers pledged themselves to be true disciples of Jesus Christ, to be separate from the world, to teach the Gospel, and to maintain the faith.  The Anabaptist movement had been born.  This group, which came to be known as the Swiss Brethren, broke with the Roman Catholic Church to an extent that not even Luther and Zwingli had dared to approach.  The Swiss Brethren sought to form a church according to the pattern they saw in the New Testament.  This meeting was arguably the most revolutionary act of the Reformation.

The Swiss Brethren emphasized a personal commitment to Jesus Christ as being both essential for salvation and a prerequisite for baptism.  This conviction about baptism being only for adult believers had not been arrived at recklessly or hastily.  Rather, it was the result of an intense and earnest study of the Scriptures.  Even though they were not able to convince Zwingli about the need for further reform, this small group of committed Christ-followers acted on their convictions by withholding their children from the infant baptism that continued to be administered by Zwingli and other Reformed preachers.  In so doing, they risked imprisonment and death for the sake of Christ and the Scriptures.

The meeting on January 21, 1525 was the beginning of a movement.  The worldwide Anabaptist church (which includes Amish, Mennonites, Hutterites, Brethren, and related churches) now counts 1.77 million baptized believers in over 80 countries.



Estep, William R. The Anabaptist Story: An Introduction to Sixteenth-Century Anabaptism. 3rd ed., revised and enlarged.  Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1996.  Pages 9-15.


Early Christian Worship

This description of early Christian worship was written by Justin Martyr (100-165).  It comes from chapter 67 of “The First Apology of Justin.”   

And the wealthy among us help the needy; and we always keep together; and for all things wherewith we are supplied, we bless the Maker of all through His Son Jesus Christ, and through the Holy Ghost.

And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things.

Then we all rise together and pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings, according to his ability, and the people assent, saying Amen; and there is a distribution to each, and a participation of that over which thanks have been given, and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacons.

And they who are well to do, and willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected is deposited with the president, who succours the orphans and widows, and those who, through sickness or any other cause, are in want, and those who are in bonds, and the strangers sojourning among us, and in a word takes care of all who are in need. But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead.

For He was crucified on the day before that of Saturn (Saturday); and on the day after that of Saturn, which is the day of the Sun, having appeared to His apostles and disciples, He taught them these things, which we have submitted to you also for your consideration.



The Augustine-Pelagius Debate

In the words of R.C. Sproul, “We have not broken free from the Pelagian captivity of the church.”[i]  He is declaring that the controversy between Augustine and Pelagius is still asserting itself upon our modern world.  That influence can particularly be felt in the debates between Calvinists and Arminians.  We must remember that the basic tenets of that discussion go back much further than John Calvin and James Arminius.  Augustine and Pelagius are in some ways the forerunners of a contemporary issue.[ii]

In discussing the historical significance of this topic Sproul quotes Adolph Harnack, who said:
There has never, perhaps, been another crisis of equal importance in church history in which the opponents have expressed the principles at issue so clearly and abstractly.  The Arian dispute before the Nicene Council can alone be compared with it.[iii]

In light of the historical and contemporary significance of this topic, we do well to inquire about the fundamental issue in this famous debate.  The controversy began in approximately 410, when Pelagius and his disciple Celestius moved from Rome to Carthage.[iv]  Celestius was hoping to be ordained as a priest in Carthage, but because of Augustine’s influence in that area he found little support.  Both Pelagius and Celestius moved east, where they found more receptivity to Pelagius’ teaching.  However, their encounter with Augustine had prompted him to begin an extensive literary attack against Pelagianism.  What was it about Pelagianism that brought on the fury of Augustine?[v]

Pelagius (c. 354–415[vi]) was likely a British monk who was a teacher in Rome before his move to Carthage.  Millard Erickson describes Pelagius as a moralist whose “primary concern was for people to live good and decent lives.”  In Pelagius’ thinking, an overly pessimistic view of human nature was not expedient toward that end.  When the sinfulness of mankind was overemphasized, there was no longer any motivation to lead a decent life.  He responded to that by stressing the idea of free will.  From his perspective, humans were completely free from external influences, including the effects of Adam’s sin.  The human soul was not tainted by sin.  Adam’s influence upon mankind was limited to his having been a bad example.[vii]

Pelagius also reasoned that, because Adam’s sin had no direct impact on the rest of mankind, there was no special work of God’s grace within the human heart.  He instead considered grace to be present everywhere at every moment.  In his view the grace of God is available to all people in the same way, which led him to reject any notion of predestination.  The primary implication of Pelagius’ theology is that man can, through his own strength and determination, live in complete obedience to God.  Man is not born with a propensity to sin; man’s desire to sin is only developed as bad habits are formed.  That thinking makes salvation by works a legitimate possibility.  However, strictly speaking, because man is not born with a sin nature, he does not so much need to be saved as he needs to be preserved in his original sinless state.  Such preservation is humanly possible apart from God’s intervention.[viii]

Augustine (354-430) is best known for his service as bishop of Hippo Regius in Northern Africa.  The theology of Augustine has exerted tremendous influence upon Western Christianity.  When the term “Augustinianism” is used it is typically in reference to Augustine’s perspective on the human condition.  In contrast to Pelagius, Augustine’s view was not at all complimentary to mankind.  Augustine considered sin to have resulted from man’s misuse of his free rational choice.  Adam deliberately exerted his will against God’s, and through that sin the rest of mankind joined Adam in his sinful state.  Mankind is still free, but only free to sin.  Mankind has both a tendency toward sin and an inability to choose God.  In that condition, asserted Augustine, salvation can only be achieved through God’s grace.  And that grace is not available to all mankind – through God’s act of predestination grace is given to some and withheld from others.[ix]

There is a positive aspect to Augustine’s depressing view of man, and that is his confidence in God’s ability to save whomever he (God, not man) wills.  Augustine viewed salvation as being completely the work of God, performed at the initiative of God, and that gave him assurance that the salvation of God’s elect would ultimately be accomplished.  It can be helpful to recognize that Augustine’s view of salvation was focused on power.  That means that although fallen humans are free, they can only choose sin because they do not have the power to choose otherwise.  Because of that lack of power, it is only through the work of God that anyone believes in him.  Augustine’s view can be summarized by saying that salvation is God’s gracious and unmerited gift.[x]

This discussion of these two theological perspectives has no doubt alerted you to where the conflict between these men lay.  Vincent of Lérins, a contemporary of Augustine and Pelagius, expressed himself on this topic by writing, “For who ever before that profane Pelagius attributed so much antecedent strength to Free-will, as to deny the necessity of God’s grace to aid it towards good in every single act?”  Vincent followed that statement by denouncing Pelagius’ “monstrous” disciple Celestius, who denied the involvement of all of mankind in the sin of Adam.[xi]  The fundamental issue in the debate between Augustine and Pelagius was the impact of Adam’s sin on the human race.

According to Pelagius, Adam’s sin belonged only to him.  Therefore, each person is free to make their own decision to follow either Christ or Adam.  According to Augustine, Adam’s sin placed all of mankind in bondage to sin.  To Pelagius, death was a natural event; to Augustine, death is a painful consequence and reminder of original sin.  These men had radically divergent views of God’s grace.  Pelagius understood grace to be God’s provision for moral advancement, which he made available at creation; Augustine understood grace to be an internal action of Holy Spirit in baptism and conversion.[xii]

Augustine thought that Pelagius was downplaying the seriousness of sin, to which Pelagius responded that Augustine was downplaying the saving work accomplished by Christ’s death.[xiii]  But according to Augustine, Pelagius had turned the doctrine of salvation into a system in which God rewarded human merit.  It was critical to Augustine to emphasize that man is so sinful that any form of reconciliation with God is impossible apart from the work of Christ.[xiv]  Colin Gunton makes the point that Augustine’s objections were based on evangelical grounds, because “if Pelagius was correct, then it was not necessary for Christ to have died.”[xv]  That is because Pelagius did not see sin as a condition from which man needs to be set free, but rather as evil actions.  In contrast, Augustine saw sin as the evil nature inherited from Adam.  That evil nature, with which all men are born, produces evil actions.  However, that evil nature can be removed through the work of God’s grace.  Without grace man cannot believe in or live in obedience to God.  Through grace man can believe in and obey God.[xvi]

The two sides of the debate are summarized well in this statement: “The soul of the Pelagian system is human freedom; the soul of the Augustinian is divine grace.”[xvii]  After this analysis of the debate between Augustine and Pelagius, we can affirm with Sproul that “The heart of the debate centered on the doctrine of original sin, particularly with respect to the question of the extent to which the will of fallen man is free.”[xviii]  This debate has continued for 1600 years; we must not think we will be able to escape the implications of this discussion in our own lives and ministries.  May God find us faithful in handling his truth.

 Works Cited

Bloesch, Donald G. Jesus Christ: Savior & Lord. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1997.

Boer, Harry R. A Short History of the Early Church. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1976.

Erickson, Millard J. Christian Theology. 3rd ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2013.

González, Justo L., and Catherine Gunsalus González. Heretics for Armchair Theologians. First edition. Armchair Theologians Series. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2008.

Grenz, Stanley, David Guretzki, and Cherith Fee Nordling. Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999.

Gundlach, B.J. “Augustine of Hippo.”  Edited by Elwell, Walter A. Evangelical Dictionary of Theology: Second Edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2001.

Gunton, Colin E. Theology through the Theologians: Selected Essays, 1972-1995. London; New York: T&T Clark, 2003.

Holze, Heinrich. “Pelagianism.” Edited by Erwin Fahlbusch, Jan Milič Lochman, John Mbiti, Jaroslav Pelikan, and Lukas Vischer. The Encyclopedia of Christianity. Volume 4. Grand Rapids, Mich.;  Leiden, Netherlands: Wm. B. Eerdmans;  Brill, 2005.

McWilliam, Joanne. “Augustine of Hippo (354–430).”  Edited by Trevor A. Hart. The Dictionary of Historical Theology. Carlisle, Cumbria, U.K.: Paternoster Press, 2000.

Schaff, Philip, and David Schley Schaff. History of the Christian Church. Volume 3. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1910.

Shelley, Bruce L. Church History in Plain Language. Updated 2nd ed. Dallas, TX: Word Pub., 1995.

Sproul, R. C. “Right Now Counts Forever: Augustíne and Pelagius.” Edited by R. C. Sproul Jr. Tabletalk Magazine, June 1996: Augustine of Hippo. Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries, 1996.

Steele, David N., Curtis C. Thomas, and Roger Nicole. The Five Points of Calvinism: Defined, Defended and Documented. Philadelphia, PA: The Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing Co., 1963.

Vincent of Lérins. “The Commonitory of Vincent of Lérins.” In Sulpitius Severus, Vincent of Lérins, John Cassian, edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, translated by C. A. Heurtley. Vol. 11. A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, Second Series. New York: Christian Literature Company, 1894.

Whitford, David M., ed. T&T Clark Companion to Reformation Theology. T&T Clark Companion. London; New York: T&T Clark, 2012.


[i] R. C. Sproul, “Right Now Counts Forever: Augustíne and Pelagius,” ed. R. C. Sproul Jr., Tabletalk Magazine, June 1996: Augustine of Hippo (Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries, 1996), 13.

[ii] David N. Steele, Curtis C. Thomas, and Roger Nicole, The Five Points of Calvinism: Defined, Defended and Documented (Philadelphia, PA: The Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing Co., 1963), 19.

[iii] Sproul, 12.

[iv] Heinrich Holze, “Pelagianism,” ed. Erwin Fahlbusch et al., The Encyclopedia of Christianity, Volume 4 (Grand Rapids, MI.; Leiden, Netherlands: Wm. B. Eerdmans;  Brill, 2005), 124.

[v] Bruce L. Shelley, Church History in Plain Language, Updated 2nd ed. (Dallas, TX: Word Pub., 1995), 129.

[vi] Stanley Grenz, David Guretzki, and Cherith Fee Nordling, Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999), 89.

[vii] Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology, 3rd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2013), 575–76.

[viii] Ibid., 576.

[ix] B.J. Gundlach, “Augustine of Hippo”, Walter A. Elwell, Evangelical Dictionary of Theology: Second Edition (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2001), 121–23.

[x] Ibid., 123.

[xi] Vincent of Lérins, “The Commonitory of Vincent of Lérins,” in Sulpitius Severus, Vincent of Lérins, John Cassian, ed. Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, trans. C. A. Heurtley, vol. 11, A Select Library of the Nicene   and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, Second Series (New York: Christian Literature Company, 1894), 149–50.

[xii] Donald G. Bloesch, Jesus Christ: Savior & Lord (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1997), 33.

[xiii] Joanne McWilliam, “Augustine of Hippo (354–430),” ed. Trevor A. Hart, The Dictionary of Historical Theology (Carlisle, Cumbria, U.K.: Paternoster Press, 2000), 445.

[xiv] David M. Whitford, ed., T&T Clark Companion to Reformation Theology, T&T Clark Companion (London; New York: T&T Clark, 2012), 400.

[xv] Colin E. Gunton, Theology through the Theologians: Selected Essays, 1972-1995 (London; New York: T&T Clark, 2003), 212.

[xvi] Harry R. Boer, A Short History of the Early Church (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1976), 161–62.

[xvii] Philip Schaff and David Schley Schaff, History of the Christian Church, vol. 3 (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1910), 787.

[xviii] Sproul, 12.