John Wesley


Re: John Wesley

Post by SteveF » Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:55 am

Matt, I found the following statement on wikipedia:

"John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, became sympathetic to the teaching of universal reconciliation and embraced it near the end of his life.[34]"

Since you did a very thorough study of Wesley's life, I was wondering if you’re aware of him entertaining and embracing Universalism? I was thinking the contributor may have been confusing John Wesley with John Wesley Hanson (who's name came up when I googled "John Wesley universalism")
Matt answered:
No, I'm not aware of anything in Wesley that would lead someone to that conclusion. His few statements on the subject put him in the eternal torment camp, it seems to me. I'm not familiar with John Wesley Hansen, but you may be right.
I've since found further clarification on this matter. It does seem that Matt is indeed correct on this matter. In Thomas C. Oden's book "John Wesley's Spiritual Christianity: A Plain Exposition of His Teaching on Christian Doctrine" pg 355-357 he demonstrates that Wesley did indeed clearly believe in Eternal Torment. In fact, he also demonstrates that Wesley strongly opposed William Law (whose writings had previously influenced him) for steering towards Universalism (I've also confirmed this from another source).

On a side note, I found it interesting that one source said that Law could not accept CI due to his strongly held Platonic and Catholic belief that man is inherently immortal. Thus, when he moved away from the ET view he ultimately saw UR as the only feasible option. I have not confirmed whether this is true or not but I will provide a link to the chapter in the book where I found it. It also contains a citation of Wesley's refutation of UR. ... q=&f=false

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