Doctrines and Divisions

Alan Harding

in The Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion

Published in print October 2003 | ISBN: 9780198263692
Published online April 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191601149 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Theological Monographs

 Doctrines and Divisions

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The chapter analyses the differences between Wesley’s Arminianism, and the moderate and hyper-Calvinism held by other sections of the Revival. All groups believed in the Fall of man and in man’s utter dependence on grace; differences arose over such issues as how grace operated, whether man enjoyed any degree of free will, how (if so) that free will related to the sovereignty of God, and where the dividing line lay between God’s justice and his mercy. In the years immediately prior to 1770, despite some personal tension between Lady Huntingdon and John Wesley, relations were generally cordial between the Calvinist and Arminian wings of the Revival; this harmony was broken by Wesley’s Conference Minutes of 1770, which appeared to allow for salvation by works. Lady Huntingdon led the initial Calvinist reaction, expelling non-Calvinist staff from her college, and presiding over a pamphlet war with the Wesleyans, although, as the 1770s progressed, the controversy developed a momentum of its own, and the Connexion did not remain in the vanguard of Calvinist attacks. Occasional rivalry occurred between individual Wesleyan and Connexion congregations (as it did between the Connexion and some other Calvinist groups, such as Whitefield’s Tabernacle Connexion), but by the end of the century the doctrinal controversy had largely played itself out.

Keywords: Antinomianism; Arminianism; Calvinism; Christian Perfection; final perseverance; imputed righteousness; justification; predestination; prevenient grace; Tabernacle Connexion

Chapter.  25025 words. 

Subjects: History of Christianity

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