Elmer M. Colyer

in The Oxford Handbook of Methodist Studies

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199696116
Published online January 2010 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology


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The Trinity in early Methodism was not simply a doctrine affirmed, but the vibrant Divine Source, Agency, and Telos of all Christian faith, life, and practice, crucial to the vitality of the Methodist movement. This is seen in John Wesley's reflections on the Trinity and the way he relates the Trinity to other aspects of Christian faith, in Charles Wesley's hymns on the Trinity, and in the way the Trinity informs other dimensions of early Methodism. The subsequent history of the Trinity in Methodism is one of affirmation but neglect, though there is recent resurgent interest in the Trinity and its integral relation to everything else Christian. This article presents a historical and theological argument for a particular understanding of the Trinity in relation to all Christian faith, life, and practice, with constructive implications concerning how to read the history of Methodism and the direction in which Methodism, in all its multiple dimensions, should evolve.

Keywords: Methodism; Methodists; John Wesley; Charles Wesley; Christianity

Article.  7470 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Christianity

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