One of the most important figures in the First Great Awakening was John Wesley. His influence was felt far and wide during his lifetime and even today in Methodism and across several different Protestant denominations. His role as a church planter, preacher, teacher, writer and more is well-documented. In his new book Wesley on the Christian Life the Heart Renewed in Love Dr. Fred Sanders seeks to show that demonstrate exactly what the title of his book says—that among many of Wesley’s contributions at the forefront of them is the idea that he has a lot to teach the people of God today about how to grow in the Christian life.
Wesley on the Christian Life has ten chapters and an appendix and comes in around 262 pages. The book is structured around the idea that Wesley has something to teach Christians today about the Christian life. The author notes, “Some theologians have written comprehensively on the full range of doctrines. But John Wesley was above all a preacher and a pastoral theologian, and almost everything he wrote was in the field of “practical divinity,” or the Christian life” (21). As Dr. Sanders guides his reader into the life and thought of Wesley he does so with a view to elaborate on and analyze the thought of Wesley in a way that honors the man and his positions. This is to be commended as I learned a ton about Wesley that before I didn’t such as his thoughts on the Christian life and more.
Wesley on the Christian Life is part of the theologians on the Christian Life series edited by Stephen J. Nichols and Justin Taylor. This is an important series that Crossway is publishing for several reasons. First, this series seeks to take a look at key figures through church history and examine who the man was (time period they lived in, etc.) and what they taught to people. Wesley on the Christian Life is an excellent book that will help the reader to grab hold of who he was and what he taught. This book invites the reader to come and learn from one of the most important figures of modern evangelicalism. We often forget that John Wesley’s influence during his time was massive—right up there with George Whitefield himself among others. This book demonstrates Wesley the man, the pastor and preacher who loved to preach the Word of God to the people of God.
Books like Wesley on the Christian Life are important because they help Christians today see that they are not the first ones to struggle and wrestle with how to live the Christian life. While some people may not agree with everything Wesley taught I think we should appreciate that Wesley was a man who sought to be faithful to the Bible as best he could in his own time and proclaim the Gospel to the lost and equip the saints for service. Reading this book will help you to think through what it means to live as a Christian from a man who thought deeply about that particular issue. It is for this reason I recommend this well-written and stimulating book from Dr. Sanders and pray it will be used to awaken interest in Wesley’s life and thought.
Author: Fred Sanders
Publisher: Crossway (2013)
I received this for free from Crossway book review program for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”